Young Kids Should Avoid Digital Screens, New Guideline Says | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Young Kids Should Avoid Digital Screens, New Guideline Says

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends minimal digital media for young children

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Instead of playing a constant game of keep-away, parents are now encouraged to join the fun. Updated guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on kids' media usage represents a shift to making moms and dads "media mentors." Previously the influential group of pediatricians suggested no media before age 2. Now they say there's evidence toddlers as young as 18 months could learn and benefit from some forms of technology, as long as parents are there to guide them and the technology is not overly stimulating. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2016)

    The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new screen media guidelines for parents with infants and young children, amending its previous recommendation that outright banned screens for children under the age of two.

    In its policy statement released Friday, the AAP says it’s OK for children under the age of 18 months to Skype or Face Time with grandma and grandpa, and for older children and teens to do some of their socializing, learning and playing online – as long as they put down their devices long enough to sleep, exercise, eat, and engage in rich offline lives. 

    The nation's leading group of pediatricians recommends children under 18 months, with the exception of video chatting, should avoid screens. Children between 18 months and 24 months should only be introduced to digital media that is high-quality and parents should watch it with their children in order to help them process what they’re seeing.

    For children ages 2-5, digital media use should be limited to one hour a day. The guidelines again recommend high-quality, education media suited for children, such as Sesame Street and PBS.

    Overall, parents should avoid using media to calm a child or replace physical activity. Parents are also recommended by the AAP to have media-free time with their children and media-free zones in the house. Parents should also have conversations with children about online safety and respecting people both on and offline.