Last week The American Academy of Pediatrics released updated media (screen time) guidelines for children and adolescents.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARENTS
- Limit the amount of total entertainment screen time to <1 to 2 hours per day.
- Discourage screen media exposure for children <2 years of age.
- Keep the TV set and Internet- connected electronic devices out of the child’s bedroom.
- Monitor what media their children are using and accessing, including any Web sites they are visiting and social media sites they may be using.
- Co-view TV, movies, and videos with children and teenagers, and use this as a way of discussing important family values.
- Model active parenting by establishing a family home use plan for all media. As part of the plan, enforce a mealtime and bedtime “curfew” for media devices, including cell phones. Establish reasonable but firm rules about cell phones, texting.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SCHOOLS
- Educate school boards and school administrators about evidence-based health risks associated with unsupervised, unlimited media access and use by children and adolescents, as well as ways to mitigate those risks, such as violence prevention, sex education, and drug use-prevention programs.
- Encourage the continuation and expansion of media education programs, or initiate implementation of media education programs in settings where they are currently lacking.
- Encourage innovative use of technology where it is not already being used, such as online education programs for children with extended but medically justified school absences.
- Work collaboratively with parent- teacher associations to encourage parental guidance in limiting or monitoring age-appropriate screen times. In addition, schools that do use new technology like iPods need to have strict rules about what students can access.
To read the full report from the American Academy of Pediatrics titled: “Children, Adolescents, and the Media”
It’s hard to limit screen time, though, when “all the other kids” are spending so much of their free time in front of one screen or another. Dr Trotter’s blog titled: “Earning Screen Time” offers practical guild lines for your family.