AAP President on Screentime for Kids
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Hansa Bhargava, MDParents and doctors have an evolving list of challenges trying to keep children healthy. Here to answer some of those questions is the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Sandra Hassink Electronic devices are everywhere these days. Why is screentime bad for kids?
Sandra Hassink, MDI think again, it’s moderation. So screentime is another. When I was raising my kids I thought, one more thing I have to pay attention to as a parent, what’s incoming on the screen? I think screentime in moderation is a part of our life, ok? Children are using internet to do homework. They’re accessing games and delightful things to do on the screen. It’s all about moderation and the parent really knowing, what’s happening on that screen? What do I want to happen with that screen and my child? and then how do I have a structure around that? And not just let it go with unlimited amounts of time. Because we all know that there are places we do not want our children to go on the screen, just like there are places that are not safe for the children to go on their own in the environment.
Hansa Bhargava, MDWhat do you think about the learning programs that are available? The apps, the dvds? Do you have any thoughts on those?
Sandra Hassink, MDSo I think they’re good adjuncts, but they’re not substitutes. So I would say for parents, the best early learning opportunities are face on learning with the parent. Games you play with the parent, when your family member reads to you. Those are the best learning opportunities. Face on face, physical play. Tummy time for an infant. All those things. The online screen things are adjuncts, but not substitutes for that face on face kind of learning interactions that’s so important to kids. And that relationship building that you’re doing, when you’re teaching a child is also building a good solid relationship and you can’t get that from a screen.
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