Turn Off the Screen and Turn On Wellbeing
There is no denying the convenience we all enjoy from our apps and electronics, however, just like fat and sugar, screen time should be enjoyed in moderation by children as it can have negative impacts on their emotional and behavioral development, as well as their academic performance.
American Academy of Pediatrics provides this guidance to parents on how to use technology responsibly with kids of all ages:
- For children younger than 18 months, try to discourage media outside of video-chatting.
- For children between 18 and 24 months, use as a teaching device with your children, not their own.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
- Watch with your younger child, ask questions and relate what’s happening in the show to his or her own life.
- Carefully select the program based on what you want your child to learn (or not) from the TV he or she watches.
- Set a good example by being cautious of the adult content in the shows you watch while your child is in the same room or wanders in.
- As much as possible, take advantage of San Diego’s mild climate and trade screen time for outside and creative play time