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Kids and Screen Time

By Dr. John Maddox, Pediatrician
Pentucket Medical/ Haverhill

In every era, it seems that adults wring their hands over the new technologies to which their younger generations of children are exposed — the telephone, the TV and now the internet with all its many branches. New technologies obviously allow new capabilities and innovations for people of all ages, but pediatricians continue to try to tease out the good from the bad effects of “screen time” — as we counsel parents and youth about ways to prevent and correct some undeniable pitfalls of excessive use. Teens aged 13-17 spend an average of almost 9 hours per day using screen media. 45% of adolescents say they are online “almost constantly.” 54% of adolescents say they spend too much time on their cell phone.

Check out the following Family Media plan, relevant for all ages. If you think your child is using media too much, or becomes aggressive when you try to set limits on their media use, talk to their health care provider about your concerns, and ask for guidance on helping them cut back.
https://www.healthychildren.org/english/media/Pages/default.aspx#home

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