Pediatricians Recommend Limiting Screen Time

Citing the association between kids’ electronic media use and childhood obesity, poor school performance, aggression, and lack of sleep, the American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with new guidelines for parents. In addition to their previous recommendation—that kids’ screen time for entertainment should be less than two hours per day—now the AAP added that parents should ban electronic media during mealtimes and after bedtime. Because two-thirds of 8- to 18-year-olds report having no rules about their time watching TV, playing video games, and using the computer, parents are advised to limit how kids use the Internet, social media, and cellphones. Pediatricians specify that parents should follow these same no-device rules about dinnertime to model healthy media consumption. This practice should also facilitate parents and kids having more meaningful conversations, developing closer relationships, and practicing face-to-face social skills.

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