Screen Time Recommendations for Kids Updated
Pediatricians are working on tweaking the screen time recommendations for children, noting that it is “outdated.”
Times have changed, and what is now called the “digital age” makes it much harder for parents to abide by the recommended screening times or not feel guilty for not going by it.
“Look at our world. It has changed … and so we have to approach the world as it is and figure out ways to make it work,” said Dr. Ari Brown, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ group investigating media use and children and co-author of a recent piece published by the American Academy of Pediatrics titled “Beyond ‘turn it off’: How to advise families on media use.”
Pediatricians are now working on a more realistic recommended screening time that differs from the long-standing for children younger than 2 , as well as the recommendation that older children and teens get no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day.
More than 30% of children in the United States play with mobile devices while still in diapers, said Brown, citing numbers from the children’s advocacy group Common Sense Media. As for older kids, the disconnect between the doctors’ recommendation and reality is even more striking: Nearly 75% of 13- to 17-year-olds have or have access to smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center, with 24% of teens saying they go online “almost constantly.”
That two-hour daily screen time recommendation “is just not the reality of what’s happening and so we really need to kind of address our world as these kids are growing up as digital natives,” said Brown, who said the pediatricians’ group is working on updating what it considers its “outdated” policies.
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