Not all screen time is created equally

Student at Computer

Children today are surrounded by digital media. Some use laptops at school and tune in to TVs at home. Others complete homework online and play video games with their friends.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed new tools and recommendations to help parents navigate the digital world.

With very young children, the AAP recommends strict limits. Other than video-chatting, screen media should be avoided altogether with infants under 18 months. Children 18 to 24 months can be exposed to some high-quality media programming as long as parents watch with their children and help them understand what they are seeing. Same goes for kids ages 2 to 5, with screen time maxing out at one hour per day.

For children 6 and older, the AAP recommends that parents put consistent rules in place to ensure media does not take away from time spent sleeping, getting physical activity, and engaging in other healthy behaviors. Families should also designate media-free times together, such as dinner, and media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.

To help parents figure out the right balance, the AAP has developed a Family Media Use Plan tool. Check it out and help your kids navigate the digital world smartly.

Read more in the December 2016 issue of Partners Post.

 

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