Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Is My Child Too Young for Screen Time?

We all know that media is all around us, and technology is just getting more and more advanced. Many moms wonder if they should let their children watch TV, play video games, use an I-pad etc. They ask themselves "What are the risks? Are there any benefits?"

AAP recommends no screen time for infants under age two. 
  • Infants at this age learn best by interacting with people and exploring different objects that are new to them. 
  • Give them toys that they can play with
  • Talk to them and read to them

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For children older than two, thAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that there are great benefits to media when it is teaching good lessons and when parents can watch it with their children. For example Sesame Street, and Super Why teach children about letters, numbers, how to get along with others, and why it's important to have self-control. 

The Mayo Clinic explains that there are also some potential risks if parents aren't aware of what or how much their children are viewing media. Watching too much media is linked to:
  • Aggression - if it is violent media
  • Poor sleep or having trouble falling asleep
  • Obesity possibly because of junk food advertisements
  • Impaired academic performance
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AAP also gives some great tips for using media in your home:
  • Watch with your kids and talk with them about what they are seeing
  • Explain questionable content to your children
  • Calm concerns by explaining that TV is not real 
  • Teach your kids about advertising
  • Answer any questions they might have
  • Pick shows that are developmentally/age appropriate
  • Use many other mediums to learn from: like reading books, going on outings as a family, playing with toys and board games etc.

Establish a few "screen-free" zones in the house:
  • Turn off the TV during dinner
  • Make sure there are no televisions or computers in children's bedrooms

For more information and ideas check out our Pinterest page.

What do you do to help your kids use media in a smart way?

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