Children’s use of technology and social media has become a focus for modern-day parents. What is an appropriate amount of screen time and how should it be monitored? How does use of technology impact children?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children and teens generally have no more than one to two hours of screen time – including television, computers, and video games – per day. For toddlers, the thinking continues to evolve – originally it was recommended that children have no screen time until age 2, but there is now more flexible thinking regarding interactive media such as Skype and FaceTime. Limited screen time is associated with a variety of long-term health benefits, including stronger language skills, more opportunities to engage socially, and lower rates of obesity. In fact, studies have shown that children may eat less healthy foods and find it difficult to attend to satiety cues when they eat while watching TV leading to larger portions, both which can also lead to obesity.