Samara Tilkens Postuma is raising five kids from infant to teen in the St. Michael area with her husband, Jeff. When not found driving kids to and from activities, helping with homework or at the park or pool, you can find her sharing her life online where she does some freelance writing and social media work and also writes at her own blog, www.simplicityinthesuburbs.com.

Summer Safety with Children's: Screen Time in the Summer

Posted by: Samara Postuma under Society, Education and literacy Updated: July 7, 2014 - 9:06 PM

I'm pretty sure that 9 out of 10 arguments in every household with children of "screen time use age" are about screen time limits. Am I right?

Screen time is a tough one. Even as an adult. I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my phone or editing a photo when I really have a long list of to-do's. It's easy, it's mostly mindless and it's a really important topic.

Dr. Pamela Gigi Chawla, senior director of Primary Care at Children's Hospitals and Clinics, says screen time limits are not only important, they are critical to a balanced life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends absolutely NO screen time for children under the age of 2 and children under the age of 2 are recommended to ahve 2 hours or less each day.

That two hours is to include computer, TV, video games, iPads, iPods, anything electronic with a screen. Just two hours? Some days we've hit that limit before breakfast.

"It's definitely easier [to manage] during the school year," Dr. Chawla said noting that summer schedules create challenges with work schedules and childcare arrangements and a lot of juggling for some families. "But it's important to find alterantive ways to have fun in the summer."

Dr. Chawla suggests kids spend more time outside, get creative, try new activities or even to just allow kids to be.

"It's important to embrace just being without having the stimulation of a screen," she said noting that parents need to model this by not constantly being in front of a screen with with their kids.

Some families do currency or charts or require their kids to "earn" their screen time, still others only allow sunscreen in the car or while traveling and some allow their kids to self regulate. Whatever works best for your family while trying to use two hours or less a day of screen time works.

What works for your family when it comes to screen time?

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