Children ages 8 to 18 spent an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming media for fun, including TV, music, videogames and other content in 2009, according to a 2010 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report was based on a survey of 2,002 third- through 12th-graders, 702 of whom completed a seven-day media use diary. That was up about an hour and 17 minutes a day from five years earlier. About two-thirds of 8- to 18-year-olds said they had no rules on the amount of time they spent watching TV, playing videogames or using the computer, the Kaiser report found.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ has set up new guidelines on Children’s Use of Internet, TV, Cellphones, Videogames
Guideline 1 – no-device during meals and after bedtime.
Families should have a no-device rule during meals and after bedtime. Parents should ban electronic media during mealtimes and after bedtime as part of a comprehensive “family media use plan,” according to new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Excessive media use is associated with obesity, poor school performance, aggression and lack of sleep,” said Marjorie Hogan, co-author of the new policy and a pediatrician.
Guideline 2 – Limit the usage time to 2 hours daily
Parents should also set family rules covering the use of the Internet and social media and cellphones and texting, including, perhaps, which sites can be visited, who can be called and giving parental access to Facebook accounts. he policy also reiterated the AAP’s existing recommendations: Kids should limit the amount of screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day; children younger than 2 shouldn’t have any TV or Internet exposure.
Guideline 3 – Televisions and Internet-accessible devices should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms.
Doctors say parents need to abide by the family rules, too, to model healthy behavior. That, some say, may be the toughest part. “If you go to any restaurant, Family 3.0 is Mom and Dad are on their devices and the kids are on theirs,” says Donald L. Shifrin, a pediatrician in Bellevue, Wash., and an AAP spokesman. “Who is talking to each other?”
Use of mobile devices by young kids has soared. A new report from Common Sense Media, a child-advocacy group based in San Francisco, found that 17% of children 8 and younger use mobile devices daily, up from 8% in 2011.