Many parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend watching TV and using other electronic media such as smartphones, computers and video games. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average 8- to 10-year old spends almost eight hours a day using screen media, and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. That’s more time than most children spend on any other activity except sleep. In comparison, most parents only spend about six hours a day with their children.
Last week, the AAP released a policy statement on children’s media use. A recent study that found that about 75 percent of 12- to 17-year olds own cell phones and almost all teens use text messaging. The AAP discourages media use by children younger than 2 and recommends limiting older children’s screen time to no more than two hours a day.
Too much screen time has been linked to numerous negative outcomes:
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for limiting screen time is the most obvious: The more time children spend watching media, the less time they have to engage in active, creative play and to interact with friends and family.