A Very 2019 Concern: Is my child spending too much time looking at screens, tablets and phones?

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Parents often worry that their children are spending too much time staring at screens. Many issues related to excessive use of electronics can arise in both children and adults. These can range from orthopedic issues like carpel tunnel syndrome to eye strain. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some great recommendations to address this very issue.

It's recommended that children 18 months and younger not have exposure to screens other than occasional video-chatting (such as whenFaceTiming Grandparents ). At around 18-24 months old, children can start to be introduced to educational video content, such as Sesame Street. Children ages 2-5 years old may be allowed a total of 1 hour of high-quality programs per day. For children 6 and older, pediatricians recommend no more than 2 hours of screen time per day. Screen use should be in moderation and should not interfere with your child’s physical health or sleep. Try to watch the content with your child and make it an educational experience, rather than using the screens as a babysitter. It’s easy for screens to become a digital pacifier when our kids are upset. Letting them watch one more show keeps them distracted enough for us to finish making dinner or sending that email, but can lead to an unhealthy dependency on constant entertainment. For more tips and to make a "media use plan" with your family, go to healthychildren.org

 

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