FOX 28 Hot Health Headlines: Screen Time and Social Media
David Lee, MD, family medicine physician and chief medical operations director of OhioHealth Employer Services recently appeared on FOX 28’s Good Day Columbus to discuss screen time and social media use.
Topic 1: How can families (including parents) get screen time with phones, tablets, televisions and computers under control?
Answer 1: Families need to set expectations and create a “media use plan” which is times or zones that will be technology free. For example, say that meal times are off-limits or they can’t use their devices in their bedrooms. Be thoughtful about setting aside time.
Topic 2: What should parents be monitoring?
Answer 2: It’s important for parents to monitor what their children are doing online, the same way you’d monitor who they were spending time with. Make sure you know what apps they are using and what websites they are visiting. In a recent survey, two thirds of parents said knowing what their children are doing online is more important than respecting their privacy.
With social media, for instance, Dr. Lee says 80,000 apps claim to be educational, but there isn’t good enough research to validate those claims. Parents need to be engaged, go through the apps themselves and make sure they are comfortable with their children using them.
Topic 3: For children, when it comes to screen time, how much is too much?
Answer 3: It is suggested that children under 18-24 months should avoid digital media all together, with the exception of the occasional video chat with family and friends. It’s recommended that children ages 2-5 have no more than an hour of screen time per day. For children five and up, less than two hours per day is recommended. This can help prevent things like obesity and sleep disturbances.