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Screen Time Reality Check — For Kids And Parents

December 26, 2016
in Kids

'Tis the day after Christmas and all through the house many kids aren't stirring... They're joyfully lost in their new smartphones, tablets or smart TVs. And it's likely mom and dad are a little digitally distracted too. In many households, screens are omnipresent. That reality has some big implications for children. Researchers, for example, have found language delays in those who watch more television. So what are parents and caregivers to do? That question can be tricky to answer, says Amanda Lenhart, who studies how families use technology at The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. "The thing about parenting today with digital technology is that you don't have your own experience to go back to and look at," Lenhart recently told NPR's All Things Considered. "When you were 10, there probably weren't cellphones. Parents think it's kind of a brave new world, and it changes so fast." For guidance on screen time, parents often turn to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2016, the group pulled back from its longstanding recommendation of no screen time for children under 2 years. The AAP stance is now more nuanced. For babies under 18 months, screen time is still discouraged, except for things like Skype or FaceTime calls with grandma....

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