LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — Lots of kids woke up on Christmas morning getting a new phone, computer or maybe video game. Health experts say it’s important to set boundaries for technology use.
Gundersen Health System Therapist Jeff Reiland says parents should think about having rules and guidelines before giving gifts of technology.
“I always encourage parents to put those things in writing,” Reiland said.
“Have that to refer to, to say ‘what are the rules?’ This is the guideline we have.”
He adds to give it some thought and be proactive instead of having to put out the fires later. But Reiland adds that screen time should also be different for each age group of children.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, for children under 18 months, it’s recommended to only be involved in screens if its a phone call talking to family members or friends.
“For children 18 months to 2 years, it’s encouraged to co-watch with your parents whatever age appropriate programming that they’re viewing together for maybe an hour,” Reiland said.
Reiland adds for children between two and six years old, it’s really one hour per day, sometimes more on the weekends. He emphasizes that it’s not so much the amount of time, but the quality of the programming.
For children, 6 years and older, Reiland says no more than a couple hours a day of screen time.
“Kids don’t learn about social, emotional language and relationships from screens, they learn that from interaction.”
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