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The Media And Your Child

One of the questions we are asked on a regular basis is, “How much TV or video game use is too much?” We support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of a maximum of 2 hours per day of screen time.

Depending on your child’s age this can include TV shows, movies, games, social networking sites, and cell phone use (including texting). The things they see via these forms of media may have an effect on them. For instance, exposure to PG-13 and R-rated movies at an early age may lead to adolescent substance use and sexual activity. They can also promote anxiety / nighttime issues in young children.

Try to keep an open dialogue with your teens about online friends, statuses, and messages. Teens especially need to be aware that information they post on sites, such as Facebook, leaves a permanent trail and is publicly viewable. Encourage them to limit identifiable personal information as we as things they consider private. A good rule of thumb is to not post comments they wouldn’t say in person or share photos that they wouldn’t show to friends and family. They should be aware that future employers are increasingly using social networking sites to obtain background information on applicants.

Also, talk with your teen about internet bullying and caution against chatting online with people they don’t know. They should never meet up with anyone in person without your permission.

Here are some steps you can take to limit the amount of screen time in your home, provide for the safety of your family, and support a healthy lifestyle.

  • Turn off all screens during meal times. 
  • Limit unsupervised media. 
  • Take TVs, DVDs, and internet access out of kids’ bedrooms. 
  • Co-view media and discuss what’s presented. 
  • Avoid all screen time in children younger than 2 years.  Exposure to TV at this age can lead to language delay, and can make reality uninteresting.

Remember, the more time your children spend in front of a screen, the less free time they have for exercise, play, and development of their own personal talents and skills.

© 2011 Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
PAMPA is a pediatric medical practice in north Atlanta, Georgia consisting of twelve pediatricians, five nurses,
and four locations in Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta, and Marietta. area.
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The content on our web site (and the links to external sites) are provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to replace the advice of a professional healthcare physician, and should not be taken as medical advice. Additionally, this content should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. The content is in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care. If you have any questions about any of the content on our web site (or another), please contact our practice to discuss.