If you’re a parent, you likely hear a lot about limiting screen time. From 2 hours a week to keeping the screen time limited to 3 hours a day, there’s a lot of differing opinions – both from parenting experts and doctors.
The American Pediatrics Association recommends no screen time for kids under 2 and no more than 1 – 2 hours of quality TV programming a day for kids over 2.
Dr. Basu on JustAnswer adds to this recommendation, saying that kids should only be in front of screens for about 30 minutes at a time. So he recommends that parents break up those 1 – 2 hours a day per the APA recommendation.
Why should we limit screen time? According to studies, too much screen time can cause depression and anxiety in kids, promotes sedentary lifestyles and interrupts communication and connection between parents and their kids; a connection that’s important for a child’s intellectual development.
As parents, it’s our job to create healthy lifestyle habits our children will carry with them into adulthood, because adult health is affected by too much time in front of TVs and computers, as well.
For a long time the medical community has linked sedentary lifestyles in adults to chronic health issues including diabetes and heart disease. Recent studies are concluding that the issue is bigger than once perceived, leading Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic to coin the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.”
According to Dr. Basu, adults should limit screen time to 5-6 hours a day. This number can be problematic for adults who work in front of computers all day and then relax at home by watching TV, playing video games or catching up on social media outlets.
Turning off the computer, phone and TV is easier said than done. Talk with doctors and parenting counselors to get ideas on limiting screen time.