Pediatricians link too much media to kids with obesity, school problems, and aggression
By Nigel Boys
With the vast array of media that is available on the internet, now might be a time to change a few rules around the house concerning the type of media your children are allowed to use, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP have just released a newly revised policy statement which recommends that all parents should make a media use plan for their families, which should include, not only the type and quantity of the media their children are allowed, but also the quality and location of the media.
The statement continued that times for using such media should also be taken into account in the media use plan, including restrictions on the use of media during mealtimes and after bedtime. This may also include keeping all types of screen media, such as tablets, TVs and computers out of your children’s bedrooms.
The AAP also recommends that children under the age of two years old should not be allowed to view any type of screen media and a limit of less than two hours per day should be put on older children’s entertainment screen time.
Another report by the non-profit advocacy group, Common Sense Media, shows that the number of children under the age of 8 that have used a mobile device for some type of media activity has increased from 38 percent two years ago to 72 percent now. It adds that 17 percent of those children are using a mobile device every day.
Co-author of the AAP policy statement and professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico, Victor Strasburger said that doctors are worried that many parents don’t seem to have much of a clue as to how to manage the media that their children use.
Strasburger went on to say that children are now spending less time in school than they are with different types of media. He continued “They are spending more time with media than in any activity other than sleeping. You could make the argument that media have taken over the primary role of teaching kids from schools and parents in many cases.”
According to the AAP policy statement, children between the ages of eight to 10 spend about eight hours a day with different types of media and older children spend more time, about 11 hours per day.
About 71 percent of children and teens say that they have a TV in their bedrooms and 50 percent say they have a console video game player in the bedroom, according to the AAP statement.
According to the AAP recommendations, parents should select the type of media that will help their children to learn to be healthy and selective in what they consume and parents should also take a more active role in what their children are viewing.