Screen Time & Children: Creating a Healthy Environment

[NYPT Fall 2018]

By Sarah Henris, Environment Specialist

How much screen time is too much? Will screen time negatively affect my child’s ability to learn? Parents and families everywhere want to know.

All children and teens need adequate sleep (8-12 hours, depending on age), physical activity (1 hour), and time away from media.

In a newly released report, researchers at the CHEO Research Institute’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity group found that children aged 9-10 who met the recommended levels of physical activity, recreational screen time use and sleep time were found to have higher levels of cognition (language abilities, episodic memory, executive function, attention, working memory and processing speed).

HealthyChildren.org offers tips and information, encouraging parents to develop a healthy media environment for their child. Find time to discuss and create a personalized media plan for watching TV, playing video games, using social media, reading books on a screen, or even unplugging.

This is a great way to strengthen family values, increase face-to-face time and be active together while learning to respect the advantages of technology today.