How to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

Does your child spend a lot of time in front of the TV or phone? Check out these tips on how to manage your child’s screen time and promote a healthy lifestyle.

January 25, 2018 | HF Healthy Living Team

Did you know that an unhealthy amount of screen time can increase your child’s risk for obesity, irregular sleep schedules, and loss of social skills? In fact, most children spend about five to seven hours a day in front of different screens. So what’s the right amount of screen time for your child?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends one hour of screen time per day for children ages two to five; children under the age of two should have none. Yet it all depends on how screen time plays into your child’s lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to use moderation.

Here are some tips on how to manage your child’s screen time and encourage healthy habits.

Be an Example

Set a good example by limiting your own screen time. Remember, your child is always watching you and is likely to copy your actions. Plus, the whole family can benefit from a break from the screen every now and then.

Set Rules

Talk to your children about what the family guidelines will be for screen time. For example, you can ban TV or video games until homework is done, or insist on a device-free dinner table. This is also a perfect time to discuss the right amount of screen time and your expectations.

Spend Time Together

Family time is a great way to check in with each other, especially after a long day at work or school. From making dinner to playing a board game, you can find a wide variety of activities to keep children away from their phones or the TV. Reading to your child is also a good idea at any age. It builds a lifelong habit that promotes language and listening skills.

Encourage Physical Activity

It’s important for your child to get enough exercise in a day for a healthy body and mind. Most screen time is passed sitting or lying down, which isn’t good for blood circulation or maintaining a healthy weight. Make sure your child has an active lifestyle with these quick and easy exercises. You can even help them find an outdoor activity or sport they would like and get them moving!

It’s important to encourage a healthy lifestyle for your children and prevent unhealthy behaviors. Limiting your child’s screen time doesn’t have to be impossible. Try to find the right balance that works for your family to live a healthy life.

 

 

© 2018 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use.” American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed December 27, 2017.
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Announces-New-Recommendations-for-Childrens-Media-Use.aspx

“Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers.” American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed December 26, 2017.
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Healthy-Digital-Media-Use-Habits-for-Babies-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx

“Screen time and children.” MedlinePlus. Accessed December 26, 2017.
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm

“Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle.” Medline Plus. Accessed December 27, 2017.
https://medlineplus.gov/healthrisksofaninactivelifestyle.html

“Screen time and children—How to guide your child.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed December 26, 2017.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/screen-time/art-20047952

“Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, and the Internet.” “KidsHealth. Accessed December 27, 2017.
http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tv-habits.html

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