Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pediatricians: No More than 2 Hours Screen-Time Daily for Kids

Scientific American    Children should be limited to less than two hours of entertainment-based screen time per day, and shouldn't have TVs or Internet access in their bedrooms, according to new guidelines from pediatricians.

The new policy statement was released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today (Oct. 28) in the journal Pediatrics.

The average 8-year-old spends eight hours a day using various forms of media, and teenagers often surpass 11 hours of media consumption daily, according to the authors of the AAP statement. More than three quarters of teenagers have cell phones, and teens ages 13 to 17 send an average of 3,364 texts per month. 

Several studies have linked high media consumption with poor health outcomes. For example, children with TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be obese. [...]

In addition to limiting all entertainment screen time — including TV, the Internet and various smart devices — to less than two hours daily, the guidelines recommend children under age 2 get no screen time. [...]

Children shouldn't have Internet access or televisions in their rooms, because that makes it too hard for parents to monitor kids' media use, Strasburger said.

"If you have a 14-year-old son and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, I guarantee you, he's looking at pornography," Strasburger told LiveScience.[...]

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