For most kids, being out of school means less structure and more downtime,
which often leads to increased access to phones, tablets and television.
Why does it matter? Studies show that excessive screen time can impact
the health of both children and adults. So now that school’s in
session, why not take this opportunity to provide some structure to your
kids’ screen time habits?
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use under the age
of 24 months. For 2-to-5- year olds, you should limit screen time to one
hour per day. For kids ages 6 and over, parents can determine the restrictions
for time spent using a screen.
Children ages 8 to 12 consume an average of 4.5 hours of screen media per
day and tweens spend an average of 5 hours with all media including reading
and listening to music. Is this too much? For these older children, an
average day should include school, homework time, at least one hour of
physical activity, social contact and sleep. This can be anywhere from
eight to 12 hours, so a good rule of thumb is whatever time is left over
can be screen time.
For older children, excessive screen time has been linked to hyperactivity,
emotional and conduct problems, difficulties with peers and poor school
performance. Other health problems include: sleep issues, obesity, vision
issues, bad posture and much more.
If you think screen time is having a negative impact on your child or you
simply want to reduce the amount of time spent in front of a screen consider
- Set some boundaries by creating weekly or daily screen time limits
- Establish screen-free zones (for example, dinner time)
- Prioritize unplugged playtime
- Require your children to charge their devices in a family room at night
- Lead by example – limit your own screen time (for your health too!)
Desi Valentine, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Family/Sports Medicine
Phone: (225) 763-4430
Book with me!