How many times have your kids said, "When can I play on the phone, computer, video game, etc.?" It's enough to wear even the most stalwart parent out. For those of you who have prayed the silent (or not so silent) prayer to figure out the balance, we have an answer for you.
One of our featured bloggers, Board Certified Pediatrician Dr. Deepa Sukumar, offers up tips for parents. Today we are featuring her article on screen time titled "How much screen time is ok for your child?"
It is easy for our children to be immersed in digital media and too much media use can mean that children do not have enough time to play, talk, study or sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics has the following recommendations that I am sure you will find useful.
* For children younger than 18 months avoid the use of screen media other than video chatting.
*Parents of children from 18 to 24 months of age should choose high-quality programming and watch with them so that they understand what they see.
*For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen time to 1 hours per day of high-quality programs. Parents should see the program with them and help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
*For children 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media and make sure the media does not take the place of adequate study time, sleep, sufficient physical activity and other behaviors essential for health.
*All screens must be turned off 60 minutes before and no TV, computers or other monitors be allowed in children's bedrooms. The blue light emitted from the screens can wake up the brain and make it harder for your child to sleep. Phones should be charged outside the bedroom or at least be in Do Not Disturb mode.
* Designate media - free times together such as dinner or driving, as well as medial free locations at home such as bedrooms
* Always talk about digital safety, not to interact with strangers. Also treating others with respect online is to be also stressed.
*Media time should not take away the child's time to interact face to face in the real world socially.Organizations like common sense media can help parents evaluate media content and make decisions about what is appropriate for their family.
*Healthychildren.org has a family media plan that you can personalize and use for your family to regulate digital medial use.
If you need to get in touch with a doctor, Dr. Sukumar offers medical care and treatment for your children from the comfort of your home via secure video. You can reach her at www.gracemdconnect.com
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