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Just For The Children: What does a balanced child look like today?

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

If you're a parent who is concerned that technology is upending your child's life, you aren't alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says a child's time with cell phones, tablets, social media, online gaming, movies and videos has risen to the point where it's more time than time spent in school, and that behavior is contributing to a variety of health risks and problems.

The AAP released a statement, Children, Adolescents and Media, at the end of October.

Some specific recommendations include:

  1. Make a family home media use plan that includes mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices

  2. Limit entertainment screen time to less than two hours per day

  3. Discourage screen media exposure for children younger than 2

  4. In addition, the AAP advises pediatricians to take a media history and ask two media questions at every well child visit: How much recreational screen time does your child or teenager consume daily? Is there a television set or internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom?

  5. Sonia Caprio, MD, a Yale Medical Group (YMG) pediatric endocrinologist who is seeing increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in young patients, says she always asks families where the TV is located. “Kids are sitting in front of the TV for hours, and the pattern is very well related to their lack of physical activity and their body weight,” she says.

  6. Is your child relating to you and others, and finding joy in offline activities?

  7. If you notice a sudden change in your child's personality, consult a specialist.


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