It can be tempting to hand our kids a tablet or turn on their favorite TV show, but how does this affect their brains and overall development? Dr. Cara Goodwin gives WSLS 10 the answers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time before 18 months. It’s important to introduce screen time gradually to children between 18 to 24 months, and no more than one hour per day of high-quality programming for children older than 2 years.
High-quality programming can mean an educational app or kids TV show where the child is encouraged to interact like Daniel Tiger, Dora the Explorer, Super WHY!, and Sesame Street.
Excessive screen time is associated with an increased risk for depression and increased risk for obesity, myopia, and sleep problems.
Three or more hours of screen time may interfere with sleep, physical activity, or social-emotional development.
How can parents manage meltdowns and other negative effects of screen time?
● I know that parenting can be challenging and it can be tempting to use screen time to get by, but it’s important to set boundaries and avoid using it as a coping mechanism for you and your kids.
● By handing them a tablet when they are upset, this can keep children from developing necessary coping mechanisms that they will need in life.
● If your child has a meltdown related to screen time, keep yourself as calm as possible, help your child to recognize the feelings, and make suggestions to help them calm down like deep breathing or quiet time.
● It’s shown that 87% of parents exceed the recommended amount of screen time.
Source: WSLS News 10