Technology can be a great source of learning and entertainment for children, but there are health implications of screen time that parents should consider. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ages 3 to 18 years should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen. For children ages 2 and under, experts recommend no screen time at all.
Kids are not only starting to use technology at a younger age, they are also using it in more situations, both at home and at school.
Letting kids use technology with limits can be achieved if you keep some of these key tips in mind:
– Do not put a TV in your child’s room. Having a TV in the bedroom has been linked to a number of problems including lower test scores, sleeping problems, and obesity.
– Turn it off. When the kids are not watching a specific program, turn off the television. Keep it off during mealtimes and especially when they are studying or doing homework.
– Help your child choose a video game or a show. The best way to know what your child is watching or playing is by helping her pick out a show or a game. When picking out a new family movie or game, read the reviews, watch previews, or ask other parents. Above all, know your child and trust your own instincts on what is appropriate.
– Place time limits. Whether it’s one hour of TV and video games a day or a couple of hours a week, limit the amount of time your child spends with technology. More importantly, be committed and stick to those times you set.
– Opt for alternatives to technology-based activities. Find great ways to spend family time together without tech devices, such as by playing board games or enjoying the outdoors.