MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The American Heart Association is the latest medical group to come out with a warning about screen time and kids.

They agree with the nation’s leading pediatrician group — less than 2 hours per day. So, what does screen time do to our kids? Good Question.

WCCO’s Heather Brown checked in with some parents at the Richfield Pool.

The Centers for Disease Control says kids over 8 spend between six to eight hours a day on a screen.

“I understand as a parent how hard it is,” Pediatrician Dr. Paula Brito said.

Dr. Paula Brito is a pediatrician. She encourages the two-hour – or less – recommendation.

“The concerns are No. 1, obesity. Kids start snacking. All the commercials are about food,” Brito said.

Experts say there is solid evidence on some short-term effects.

“Also we are concerned about sleep issues. We are concerned about cyberbullying and sexting,” Brito said.

But long-term, the jury is still out physically and psychologically.

“They’re growing up more slowly. This has changed our lives, no doubt about it. They’re mental health has really trended downwards. We don’t have a lot of evidence yet to link screen time to risk of cardiovascular disease,” said experts on CBS This Morning.

That said, screen time can be positive, especially for kids with disabilities or problems with socialization. Then there’s the connection and the education factors.

“It’s always about balance. If you see your teenager talks with you, interacts with you. Today is three hours, tomorrow is one, day after is five, we want moderation like everything in life,” Brito said.

Moderation and modeling. Knowing parents’ daily screen time: Nine hours and 22 minutes.

Heather Brown

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