Adding Up Your Kid’s Screen Time

It has become a common occurrence for children to throw a temper tantrum every time their parents command them to turn off the screens. For the most part, given the fact that the kid is in the care of a responsible adult, the concern is less about what they are watching, but rather, how long they have been watching it for. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions kids and teenagers who are overexposed to digital media and screens are prone to weight problems like obesity, sleep impairments, cyberbullying and poor academic performances. Not to mention the safety concerns.

Schools have begun encouraging parents to communicate with their kids about what they reveal online. So how long exactly do your children spend time on their phone, TV and computer screens? One study published this year by Common Sense Media revealed that children as old as 8 years devote an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes on screen media on a daily basis. The biggest chunk of screen time goes purely to Television and video content – it consumes as much as 72% of their entire screen time.

The numbers have seriously spiked since 2011, when the average screen media time every day for children 8 years and younger was just an hour and 55 minutes. The time devoted on the majority of electronic gadgets, including Television, PCs and laptops, video games, and DVDs, has decreased beginning in 2011, but time devoted to mobile devices has grown dramatically. (The latest numbers were acquired via a survey consisting of nearly 1,455 parents with children 8 years old or lower carried out in January and February.)

When it comes to children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, the average time devoted to screening media daily was 4 hours and 36 minutes, based on a 2015 study made by Common Sense Media. Teenagers meanwhile, devoted an average of 4 hours and 30 minutes with screen media on a daily basis and 6 hours on all types of media, including reading and tuning in to music.

The report revealed that the biggest activity amongst teens was television viewing: almost 62% of the participants in the survey shared that they tune in to television each day. Based on the 2015 study, however, there are variations on how teens of distinct genders utilize their screen times. Males devote additional time playing console video games while females devote additional time on music and social media. Mobile devices contributed to 41% of the entire screen time amongst teens.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests regulating screen media utilization for kids younger than two years to video chat. When it comes to older children, they advise mom and dads to opt with good, quality material and view it together with their kids to help them grasp what it is exactly they are viewing. In addition to that, the American Academy of Pediatrics shares that screen media usage must never impede with a child’s sleep and exercise habits. The academy strongly advises mom and dads to make sure that their kids follow periods without any media usage together with the entire family and assign places inside the home where media is strictly not allowed.

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