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Healthy Screen Habits

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other health experts:

  • discourage all screen media use (except for occasional video chatting) for all children under the age of 18 months

  • recommend that, if introduced, children from 18 months to 2 years have no more than one hour per day of high-quality programming in the company of others, not alone

  • recommend that children ages 2-5 years old also be limited to no more than one hour of high-quality programming per day

  • recommend for all children, ages 5 and over, that recreational screen time be limited to 2 hours or less per day

Why are healthy screen habits important?

Researchers are finding more and more evidence of the adverse effects of too much screen time. Such as:

  • decreased physical activities which leads to obesity

  • increased occurrence of nearsightedness (myopia) eye problems

  • increased aggressive behavior and parent-child conflicts

  • decreases in social interaction leading to social isolation and depression

  • decreased quality and duration of sleep

  • decreases in cognitive development

  • decreased school engagement and performance

  • decreases in language skills development

  • decreases in motor skills development

  • underdevelopment of interpersonal social skills

  • lack of empathy

  • more violent and negative risk-taking behaviors

  • stunted maturity

  • poor self-image and body image issues

  • spending less time outside which has many negative physical, mental and emotional health consequences

  • can lead to psychological disorders such as screen addition and internet gaming disorders

More than 1-2 hours per day of recreational screen time can lead to some of the negative effects listed above. Researchers estimate that most Americans over the age of 5 are spending 6 or more hours in front of screens each day.

Wouldn't it be better to see young people outdoors, exploring and learning about the wonders of the natural world?

Resources for more information:


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