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How Much Screen Time Is Healthy for Kids?
Have you ever wondered how much time your little one should spend watching television or playing with an iPad? Approximately 68% of children under the age of three use electronic media daily1! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that caregivers avoid exposing infants and toddlers to screens due to health concerns2. Research suggests that increased screen time negatively impacts young children’s weight, concentration, memory, academic achievement, mood, and language skills1,2,3,4,5.
Limiting screen time provides many physical and mental benefits for your child’s development such as a lower risk of obesity and speech delays4,5. In addition, turning off electronics in the evening can even improve sleep hygiene5,6. Young children learn better from interacting with people rather than electronics3. Because screen time increases as children get older7, it is important to start creating healthy habits now!
Written by ASAP Sitter Caitlin.
1Duch, H., Fisher, E. M., Ensari, I., & Harrington, A. (2013). Screen time use in children under 3 years old: a systematic review of correlates. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 102. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-102
2American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). Media and Children. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pag...
3Lowry, B. L. (2015). Infants and toddlers "unplugged": New recommendations about media use from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Articles/Unplugged--New-recommendation...
4Xu, H., Wen, L. M., Hardy, L. L., & Rissel, C. (2016). A 5-year longitudinal analysis of modifiable predictors for outdoor play and screen-time of 2- to 5-year-olds. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13(1), 96. doi:10.1186/s12966-016-0422-6
5Paudel, S., Leavy, J., & Jancey, J. (2016). Correlates of mobile screen media use among children aged 0–8: protocol for a systematic review. Systematic Reviews, 5, 91. doi:10.1186/s13643-016-0272-y
6Vijakkhana, N., Wilaisakditipakorn, T., Ruedeekhajorn, K., Pruksananonda, C., & Chonchaiya, W. (2015). Evening media exposure reduces night-time sleep. Acta Paediatrica, 104(3), 306-312. doi:10.1111/apa.12904
7Matarma, T., Koski, P., Löyttyniemi, E., & Lagström, H. (2016). The factors associated with toddlers’ screen time change in the STEPS study: A two-year follow-up. Preventive Medicine, 84, 27-33. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.12.014
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