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Aspire Magazine: Too Much Screen Time for Kids?

As residents of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, we’re accustomed to long, cold winters. When the temperature plummets and we spend more time indoors, it can be harder to find things to do—especially for kids.

Kids in search of something to do often turn to video games or other electronic distractions, and while these things can offer hours of entertainment, they also carry risks. Research shows that too much screen time can interfere with healthy learning and development and can lead to increased risk of obesity.

In today’s ever-expanding digital age, parents are strongly encouraged to be more proactive in monitoring their child’s media use. According to Stephanie Videan, pediatric nurse practitioner at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital & Clinics, one thing parents can do to limit screen time activity is to designate tech-free zones, such as mealtimes and bedtime.

“In our home, TV is considered a reward and it’s offered at special times, such as holidays, rainy days and family movie nights,” Videan said. “It’s also important to watch the media sources with your children to help their curious development and to better understand what they’re actually learning.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parents prioritize creative, unplugged playtime for infants and toddlers. The AAP guidelines suggest no screen time for children under 2; no more than one hour of screen time for children ages 2 to 5; and parental control over media for children 6 and up. 

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