How much screen time is okay for kids?

Today’s children spend most of their time in front of TV, tablet, mobile phones or video games. It is common knowledge that too much screen time is not good for a kid. Too much screen time can result in obesity, behavioral problems, attention problems, less time learning, Inadequate sleep schedules and insufficient sleep, delays in language and social skills development and even violence.

the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, aged 2 to 5, the recommended limit is one hour per day.

Unstructured playtime is more valuable for a young child’s developing brain than is electronic media. Children younger than age 2 are more likely to learn when they interact and play with siblings, parents and other children or adults. By age 2 children may benefit from some amount of screen time with educational videos. You can watch it with your children, monitor what they are watching and help them apply that in real life. However, passive screen time shouldn’t replace reading, playing or problem-solving.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use, except for video chatting, by children younger than 18 months. If you introduce digital media to children ages 18 to 24 months, make sure it’s high quality and avoid solo media use.

As your child grows older, consider applying the same rules to your child’s real and virtual environments. In both, play with your child, teach kindness, be involved, and know your child’s friends and what your child does with them. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the media your child is exposed to is more important than the type of technology or amount of time spent.

Always preview programs, games and apps before allowing your child to view or play with them. Make sure your child is close by during screen time so that you can supervise his or her activities. Seek out interactive options that engage your child, rather than those that just require pushing and swiping or staring at the screen. Also, employ strict rules for the amount of screen time they are having.

-poorna

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