Tips on screen time as kids head back to school


Experts recommend dialing back

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Experts say it’s time to start dialing back screen time before kids head back to class.

Doctors recommend an hour or less of screen time a day for elementary and preschool students. But cutting back is easier said than done.

Randall Children’s Hospital Pediatric Injury Prevention Program Coordinator Amber Kroeker recommends developing a family media use plan.

“Basically what it is is an opportunity for you to sit down with your child and kind of come up with a plan, how much screen time are they allowed per day,” she said.

She said it’s also important for parents to lead by example.

“If you are telling your kids no more iPad at the dinner table during the school year, but mom or dad is on their cell phone checking emails during dinner, the kids are going recognize that.”

Kroeker recommends using parental controls on devices to make sure you know what websites your kids are visiting. As for when it’s appropriate for a child to have a cellphone, Kroeker said it depends.

“It’s important to have that conversation as parents and then also with your child. Tell me some reasons why you want to get a cell phone, what do you envision using it for,” she said.

Kroeker advises parents to speak to a pediatrician or other healthcare providers about age appropriateness for when to introduce something like a cell phone.

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