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Doc Talk | Screen time recommendations

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How much of your day is spent looking at a screen?

It's probably a good amount but it's definitely not good for you.

For most adults lots of screen time is often unavoidable, but for children too much screen time can really affect their development.

That's why doctors are being stricter now about their screen recommendations for kids.

"One of the big problems with screen time and children is the new epidemic of childhood obesity," said Dr. Joel Rose, a Holy Spirit Pediatrician.

He says that's because often times when kids are sitting and staring at a screen they're also eating.

"When a child is locked into a screen, they’re just sitting still burning no energy."

That's why he's recommending a restricted amount of time in front of a screen for children.

"The recommended time is, during the school year, 1 hour a day" and now that it's summer time only two hours a day.

"It’s a passive activity and especially in younger children, they should be exploring the environment and not being told everything directly."

He says he recognizes that kids may not want to listen to their parents when it comes to rules like this. So it's good to have a fun alternative in mind, like going on a bike ride or swimming.

But he says you'll know when you're doing it right.

"If you take the screen away, I tell all the parents, you’re not going to have any china left. They’re going to be running through, breaking all your precious china because they’re not going to sit still."

The summer limit of two hours of screen time a day should also be applied to weekends and holidays during the school year.

And doctors also recommend that children be at least two years old before they're exposed to television.

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