Screen Time May Consume Nearly 1/3 of Day for U.S. Kids2010-Oct-13
By -- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children and teens in the United States spend an average of seven hours a day using television, computers, phones and other electronic devices for entertainment, compared to an average of three hours a day watching TV in 1999, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Parents, physicians and educators need to understand the effects of this increasing exposure to media and educate youngsters about media use, the academy said in an updated AAP policy statement released online in advance of publication in the November print issue of the journal Pediatrics.
The statement listed several concerns:
However, educating children about media can help reduce harmful effects, and careful selection of media can help children learn, the AAP said. Along with longstanding advice about limiting, planning and supervising children's media use, the group's updated policy statement includes a number of new recommendations:
The statement authors concluded that "a media-educated person will be able to limit his or her use of media; make positive media choices; select creative alternatives to media consumption; develop critical thinking and viewing skills; and understand the political, social, economic and emotional implications of all forms of media. Results of recent research suggest that media education may make young people less vulnerable to negative aspects of media exposure."
In addition, the experts added, "simply reducing children's and adolescents' screen media use has been shown conclusively to have beneficial health effects."
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has more about children and the Internet.
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