(NEW YORK) — The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day plugged into TVs, computers and cellphones, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. And that’s too much, the doctor’s group argues.
AAP released new guidelines Monday to help parents manage their children’s “screen time.”
“For kids under 2, you want to have no TV. For older kids, you want to limit it. Limit their media use to less than two hours per day,” says Dr. Richard So, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.
The recommendations also apply to teenagers. “The major cause of insomnia for my teenagers in my practice is cellphones in the bedroom. Take them away,” So advises.
To model good behavior, the academy recommends parents should also set limits on themselves. So suggests the whole family should have daily “media time outs.”
“All cellphones, computers, tablets are turned off. It should be, maybe a half-hour or an hour after dinner time where even the TV is turned off and you just talk to each other as families,” he says.
According to AAP, unrestricted media use can lead to cyberbullying, poor performance in school and obesity.
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