Study supports guidelines that recommend strict limits on children’s media use

The Washington Post reports that last autumn, “the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidelines for children and adolescents using media, recommending no more than two hours per day of any type of entertainment screen time for kids ages three to 18 and none for children two or younger.” Covered in the guidelines are “Internet and texting, as well as TV, movies and video games.”

Now, Reuters reports that according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, the way parents keep tabs on their youngsters’ video game and television viewing habits may be associated with how well the children do in school, get along with other kids, and how much they weigh.

The study of 1,323 third, fourth, and fifth graders revealed that when parents placed limits on screen time and monitored their kids’ TV viewing, the children were less aggressive with one another and performed better in school.

HealthDay reports that children whose parents monitored their media use also ended up with a lower body mass index because they got more sleep. “Pediatricians, family practitioners, nurses and other health care professionals who encourage parents to be more involved in their children’s media may be much more effective at improving a wide range of healthy behaviors than they realize,” said study author Douglas Gentile, of Iowa State University, and colleagues in a university news release.

 

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