Monitoring how much time your child spends on tablets, smartphones or tv can be a challenging task.
Now a new study shows how much screen time is okay.
The World Health Organization released its first-ever guidelines for how much screen time is appropriate for children under the age of five.
It recommends children under the age of two have no “sedentary screen time.” Kids two to four have no more than an hour each day.
“When a child is on a screen and not interacting with another adult, they’re losing out on the opportunity to learn social skills,” said a child development counselor, Dr. Margaux Brown. “To learn about emotion regulation, facial cues and how to communicate using their language.”
Kids are spending more time with screen media, and that’s not all bad.
Technology is a crucial part of the learning environment in schools, but Dr. Kim Barker says social interaction is still essential for students.
“We want kids collaborating talking with each other, integrating digital and non-digital resources for learning,” explained assistant professor for Augusta University Dr. Kim Barker. “That’s the kind of access we would like to see at school for it to be effective.”
She says for some students working from tablets is the best way for to them engage in the curriculum. Whereas …..
“Other kids don’t have access at home,” said Barker. “So it’s vital for them to have access and learn digital tools during schools hours.”
One parent told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, it’s essential how screen media fits in your family’s lifestyle.
“He does have a tablet, but he only has 15 to 20 minutes of video time, then he has to go on to educational games, so the videos don’t show up anymore,” said Stephaine Walters.
Another parent says you have to be careful not to use a device, as a babysitter.
“I try to be as proactive as I can by thinking through what I can bring instead of a screen,” said Shannon Woods. “Like a little box of some toys or books so that I can offer that first.”
Dr. Brown says to pay close attention to how your kids act during and after screentime activities.
“Sleep affects an impact on how much screen time affects depressive symptoms,” said Brown.
On May 3rd NewsChannel 6 will air “Screentime: Diane Sawyer reporting.”
The special contains interviews with families, teachers, doctors, and tech insiders, focused on the same issue — how much screentime is too much?
The ABC News Team will search for practical solutions for families.
Click here to take part in the screen time challenge.
PhotoJournalist: Gary Hipps