A new study shows that children are spending too much time staring at screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics says while more studies are needed, the Journal of American Medical Association showed a significant impact on brain development when children between 3 and 5 years old were exposed to more than the amount of recommended screen time. The CDC reports that children ages 8-10 spend an average of six hours per day staring at a screen, while kids ages 11-14 spend an average of nine hours per day in front of a screen and youth ages 15-18 spend 7 ½ hours in front of a screen.
Dr. Ameera Nauman, an OSF Healthcare Pediatrician, says that the first five years, especially under the age of 2, are critical for brain development.
Dr. Nauman says that screen times can wind up a child as opposed to calming a child down.
Dr. Nauman says that teenagers should be allowed to use screentime, it should just be in moderation.
There are plenty of ways to limit screen times, most app stores have time calculators to keep an eye on just how much time your child is on. Recommendations from most physicians say that under 2 years old there should be no screen time. From the ages of 2-5 years, one hour is recommended and from 5-17 no more than two hours of additional screen time, homework not included.