Doc Talk: Kids and screen time

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s Monday so we have another “Doc Talk” with Dr. Anna Duran from UNMH, who talked about kids and screen time.

Dr. Duran says the American Academy of Pediatrics specifies the following for kids:

  • No screen time under 18 months old
  • Only video chatting from 18 months old to two years old
  • Less than one hour a day, only with a parent or caregiver nearby, from 2-5 years old
  • No more than two hours a day, excluding homework, from 5-17 years old

From birth to two years old, Dr. Duran stresses social, face-to-face interactions for a kid’s development. Screen time can take away from that and cause other effects:

  • Obesity
  • Decreased physical activity
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Behavioral problems
  • Decreased time with family or friends
  • Exposes children to marketing, predators, bullying

Dr. Duran recommends the following to encourage healthy screen-time habits for your kid:

  • Monitor what your child is viewing
  • Use parental controls
  • Turn off all screens during family meals, outings
  • Try not to use screens as babysitters or to stop bad behavior
  • Turn off screens a half hour to an hour before bedtime
  • Encourage reading, playing outdoors, family time

The next “Doc Talk” with Dr. Duran is Monday, April 17, on handling crying babies and toddler temper tantrums.