Limiting screen time for your kids
By Aimee Heckel
Santa saw plenty of requests for electronics this Christmas, and chances are you, your kids unwrapped a new gadget or two.
Whether it’s an iPad, a video game or an iPod, increasingly more kids are plugged in than ever before.
And although it might have been a needed relief to let your kid play with her new iPad for six hours the day after Christmas, we all know that’s not healthy.
Kidshealth.org reports that two-thirds of infants and toddlers spend an average of two hours every day looking a screen — and that number only grows as kids get older. Kids age 8 to 18 spend nearly twice that in front of a TV, plus two more on a computer (not doing homework).
Experts agree this isn’t entirely good.
In fact, studies show that too much technology is making our kids move less, experience pains in their hands and plenty of social challenges, too. Studies show that plugged-in kids experience eye problems and have trouble focusing and more.
What to do?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids under 2 watch no TV. Hear that? None.
The academy recommends only one to two hours per day of quality TV for kids older than 2.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute suggests the following programs as “quality” for kids:
- For kids age 2 to 3: “Kipper,” “Wonder Pets,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Doc McStuffins” and “Curious George.”
- For kids age 4 and 5: “Backyardigans,” “Wild Kratts,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Arthur” and “Super Why.”
The institute says these programs at least offer “real” content, like science, and often also teach social and emotional intelligence.
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