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Health Information For Parents
As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities like being physically active, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family. Too much screen time also can contribute to obesity, attention problems, sleep disorders, and problems at school.
For teens, screen time can include things like researching a school project, creating music or art, or interacting with friends via social media. But it also can include less productive activities, like watching inappropriate TV shows, visiting unsafe websites, or playing violent video games.
Some studies show that teens spend almost 9 hours a day online, on the phone, watching TV, or playing games — so what’s a parent to do?
Parents should continue to set limits on screen time, preview all shows and games to make sure they’re OK, and stay aware of what their teens are doing online.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents of kids and teens 5 to 18 years old place consistent limits on the use of any media. This includes entertainment media (like watching TV and movies), as well as educational media (like creating flash cards on a smartphone app).
Not all screen time is created equal. It’s up to parents to decide how (and how often) their teens use screens and whether screen time is positive or negative. For instance, time spent on homework or other educational activities might not need to be as restricted as time spent playing video games.
For teens (and kids of all ages), screen time should not replace time needed for sleeping, eating, being active, studying, and interacting with family and friends.
The same parenting rules apply to screen time as to anything else — set a good example, establish limits, and talk with your teen about it.
To make your teen’s screen time more productive:
TV, interactive video games, and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment, but too much plugged-in time can have unhealthy side effects.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, but it’s important for parents to track their kids’ screen time and set limits.
Sexting could haunt a teen for the rest of his or her life. Here’s what parents need to know.
Before kids or teens hit “enter,” make sure they know the rules when it comes to oversharing, teasing, posting personal info, and other online don’ts.
Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person. Here are some suggestions on what to do if online bullying has become part of your child’s life.
The Internet is a wonderful resource, but access to it has its hazards for kids. Here’s how to make sure your kids go online safely.
Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your big kid? Get advice here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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