Many families enjoy watching a favourite show or playing a video game together. And both parents and kids like texting or using social media and other apps. But too much time in front of a screen-TV, computer, tablet, smartphone, or video game-can be unhealthy.
It can affect reading, doing schoolwork, and talking with family and friends. It disrupts good sleep. The more screen time kids have, the more likely they are to eat unhealthy foods. It also cuts down on time for physical activity, such as sports or other outside play.
You may be thinking about limiting screen time, but you are not sure how to begin. You also may not be sure if your family is ready for this change. Cutting back on screen time does not mean no screens at all. It means being careful about what and how much time your child spends looking at a screen. Making this kind of change can be hard, and it takes time. You do not have to make this change all at once. Even cutting back on some screen time can help.
Your doctor can offer information and support as you think about making this change. You can find a family media plan tool at at www.healthychildren.org/MediaUsePlan to help you create a plan for screen time.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Remember that you can control how fast you make any changes. Making small, gradual changes to how you and your family spend time using devices will help you maintain the changes.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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