Doctors warn about too much screen time for kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the amount of screen time your kids should be allowed to have depends on their age

Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016. Just days after being made available in the U.S., the mobile game Pokemon Go has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. And players have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Could too much screen time be impacting your child’s sleep or performance at school? Doctors are saying yes, and you may be shocked at how quickly that screen time adds up.

New research shows that kids up to age 8 spend more than 2 hours and 15 minutes with screen media every day. Children 8 years old and up spend more than 4 and half hours using screen media every day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the amount of screen time your kids should be allowed to have depends on their age. Children 2 to 5 years old should only have 1 hour of screen time per day and it should be high-quality programs. For children 6 years old and older, the academy says it is up to the parents, but there should be consistent limits and should not interfere with being active.

“We’ve already seen the obesity rate jump drastically over the last several years, and they think it is directly linked to kids sitting on the butts playing games all the time,” said Dr. John Cox, pediatrician. “You drive through neighborhoods and you don’t see kids outside playing baseball or football or hanging out. They are inside.”

Doctors say don’t just monitor how much screen time but consider what type of media they are spending their time with and make sure to plan media-free times with family.

“You don’t want to use that iPhone or that smartphone as a babysitting device. When they got out to dinner, you don’t just want to hand the kid the phone at 18 months old and just let them play with the phone. That also gets them use to that and that can also cause problems later down the line,” said Dr. John Cox, pediatrician.

Too much screen time can cause sleep problems. It can also have a negative impact on school performance.


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