How much technology is reasonable for kids?
Many human interactions, from work-related meetings to school classrooms, have moved online. Even when we do meet face-to-face, a third wheel often tags along: an electronic device.
Screen time is still on the rise.
Experts include activities such as checking email, listening to music, watching TV, and playing video games on televisions, computers and handheld devices in the category of screen time. A 2016 Nielsen Company audience report found that American adults spent a little more than 10.5 hours consuming media each day. That’s one more hour than the screen time spent last year according to the same study.
Limitations on screen time are healthy and recommended.
Electronic media consumption begins earlier than ever. The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned parents for years that children need little to no screen time. Most recently, the AAP recommends parents limit children ages 3-18 to a total of two hours per day of screen time across all devices. Children ages two and under should have no screen time at all.
There’s no app for social development.
People learn how to be good social beings and interact with others properly through face-to-face interactions. Human interaction is foundational learning that begins in infancy. A UCLA study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that sixth-graders who went just five days without using smart phones, televisions and computers became significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who continued to use them. Beyond social development, some studies link excessive screen time to other negative effects, such as childhood obesity, sleep issues and behavioral problems.
Be frugal despite the excess.
Encourage and exhibit responsible use of electronic devices for children. Decide how much time is appropriate to spend on electronic devices each day and stick to the plan. Always be aware of what children are watching or playing. Parents should ensure that children make good choices. Plan fun activities that don’t involve screen time, such as a visit to the park or zoo. Parents can also become good role models by limiting their use of screen time when actively involved with their children.
Learn more about child development at abcquality.org.
Learn about child care and development, search for a child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By ABC Quality Team at 7 Mar 2017, 11:00 AM