Monday, July 10, 2017

American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use

Recognizing the ubiquitous role of media in children’s lives, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is releasing new policy recommendations and resources to help families maintain a healthy media diet. To support these recommendations, the AAP is publishing an interactive, online tool so families can create a personalized Family Media Use Plan.

The AAP recommends that parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family.

Among the AAP recommendations:
  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. 
  • Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

The Family Media Use Plan tool will be launched on HealthyChildren.org on Friday, Oct. 21. A preview version is available for journalists to review at HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan. This link should not be made public until 12:01 a.m. ET Friday, Oct. 21.

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