2 Hours or Less of Screen Time
Resources to be Healthy Together
Aim to limit screen time to 2 hours or less every day. The health benefits of doing so are as plentiful as the stations that flood the airwaves. Television, the Internet, iPods, video games and electronic gadgets can be powerful, helpful tools for the media-savvy. However, unchecked screen time can do great harm, particularly to the young.
Did You Know?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends:
- No television for children under age two
- Less than 2 hours of daily screen time for older children
- Keeping TV and screen devices out of bedrooms
According to the AAP, "even mild TV watching affects the attention span of young children. Exposure to violence, sexual content and unhealthy foods directly influences the attitudes of children."
The Parents Television Council issued a warning saying, "TV violence is alarmingly more frequent and more disturbing than ever before."
Advertisers spend billions of dollars on TV commercials that market sugar-laden foods and drinks to children.
The National Institute on Media and the Family found that American youth spend nearly as much time using media as most adults do working. Many studies show direct links between media consumption and the rise in obesity.
Henry Ford Helpful Tips To Tame Screen Time
- Placing the television in a common room makes watching TV a family activity. Be selective about programming; seek out the best content.
- Discuss the shows you watch. Quiz your kids and express your views.
- Turn off the TV during meals. Distracted eating can mean over-eating. Encourage conversation.
- It's never too late to establish ground rules. Set limits on screen time. See what works for your family. It could be no TV on school nights; or putting off TV and computer play until homework and chores are done.
- You could also use a timer, turning off the TV when the buzzer sounds.
- Get a parental filter for your computer -- free ones are available. Choose a family-friendly Internet service provider.
- Keep books, magazines, newspapers, board games and playing cards in the family room. Feed your family (and yourself!) intellectually.
- Empower children by having them list fun alternatives to screen time, and enjoy those activities as a family. Kids will grow from the experience, and get a taste of independence. Families that play together stay together!
Print off your very own 5-2-1-0 Tracker and start monitoring daily activity and nutrition! This tracker helps kids and families eat healthy and be active.