MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – They’ve been called electronic babysitters. All of that technology we love, our kids love too. But you can have too much of a good thing.
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found kids spend, on average, eight hours using some type of “entertainment media” each day.READ MORE: Girl Shot In Head During Mpls. Birthday Party Confirmed As Student At Elementary School In New Hope
Doctors say one to two hours a day is plenty.
That screen time, experts warn, can add up to health and behavior problems. Excess use of cell phones, tablets and TVs is linked to violent behavior, cyberbullying, obesity, lack of sleep and other health problems.
One way to curb use is to create screen-free zones in your home. For instance, make your child’s bedroom off-limits for TVs or cell phones.READ MORE: AMBER ALERT: Samantha Stephenson, 13, Last Seen With Brandon Morgan, 19, Who May Be In 'Manic State'
Doctors warn many kids will take out their phones to play games and text friends past their “lights out” time.
The AAP also suggests sitting down as a family to create a media-use plan. Discuss when it’s appropriate to use cell phones, talk about the shows you watch and make a technology curfew for when devices are locked.
There are known benefits to using technology, such as aiding in literacy, boosting creativity and helping with research and homework.MORE NEWS: Richard Skramstad Charged In Western Wisconsin Meth Investigation
But doctors say parents should make sure that the time spent is meaningful.