Updated: 10/28/2013 4:30 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
Photo: MGN Online
The American Academy of Pediatrics has new advice many kids will find hard to swallow: It wants limits on tweeting, texting and other social media.
The influential group says smartphones and laptops should stay out of children's bedrooms. And it says kids should spend no more than two hours daily on Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet entertainment sites.
The AAP policy statement offers recommendations for parents and pediatricians, including:
• Parents can model effective “media diets” to help their children learn to be selective and healthy in what they consume. Take an active role in children’s media education by co-viewing programs with them and discussing values.
• Make a media use plan, including mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices. Screens should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms.
• Limit entertainment screen time to less than one or two hours per day; in children under 2, discourage screen media exposure.
• Pediatricians should ask two questions at the well-child visit: How much time is the child spending with media? Is there a television and/or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom? Take a more detailed media history with children or teens at risk for obesity, aggression, tobacco or substance use, or school problems.
• Work with schools to encourage media education; encourage innovative use of technology to help students learn; and to have rules about what content may be accessed on devices in the classroom.
• Challenge the entertainment industry to create positive content for children and teens, and advocate for strong rules about how products are marketed to youth.
• As the media landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the AAP calls for a federal report on what is known about the media’s effects on youth and what research needs to be conducted. The AAP calls for an ongoing mechanism to fund research about media’s effects.