Monday, August 21, 2017

How Media Use Affects Your Child?

Most kids today are plugged into devices like TVs, tablets, and smartphones well before they can even ride a bike. 
Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, as long as this privilege isn't abused. For example, preschoolers can get help learning the alphabet on public television, grade schoolers can play educational apps and games, and teens can do research on the Internet.
But too much screen time can be a bad thing:
  • Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight.
  • Kids who view violent acts on TV are more likely to show aggressive behavior, and to fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.
  • Teens who play violent video games and apps are more likely to be aggressive.
  • Characters on TV and in video games often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
That's why it's so important for parents to keep tabs on their kids' screen time and set limits to ensure they're not spending too much time in front of a screen.

What's Recommended?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends these guidelines for screen time:
  • Babies and toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time, with the exception of video-chatting with family and friends.
  • Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver. 
  • Preschoolers: No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they're seeing.
  • Kids and teens 5 to 18 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being physically active.

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