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American Academy of Pediatrics Calls Parents to Put Kids on ‘Media Diet’

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 9.43.43 AMThe American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on parents to create ‘media diets’ for their kids, limiting screen time for computers, tablets, phones and TVs to two hours a day.

The revised policy statement on media consumption is part of a report called, “Children, Adolescents and the Media.” The report discourages ant screen exposure for children under 2. Here is more from the organization’s website:

Excessive media use has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior issues. A recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media. About 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.

Still, the organization admitted that some forms of digital media can be educational when used in moderation.  

“A healthy approach to children’s media use should both minimize potential health risks and foster appropriate and positive media use—in other words, it should promote a healthy ‘media diet’,” stated Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, co-author of the AAP policy. “Parents, educators and pediatricians should participate in media education, which means teaching children and adolescents how to make good choices in their media consumption.”

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