The American Academy of Pediatrics Suggests Monitoring Childrens’ Media Diets

By on October 30th, 2013

The word diet is taking on a whole new meaning for Americans.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests parents should monitor their children’s “media diet” more closely.

According to the AAP, children are spending an average of seven hours a day using TVs, computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.

“I can’t imagine doing anything for several hours a day that would not involve getting to run around or play with toys or even interacting with their parents,” said Kim Whitten, a mother of two.

The AAP said kids with excessive media exposure are at higher risk for obesity, attention problems, sleeping and eating disorders.

“I think limiting the amount of time that a child spends in front of their screen is important and I encourage that, and then how to- I would leave up to the parents,” said Dr. Tom Benton, a Gainesville pediatrician.

Whitten just started letting her two and four-year-olds watch TV — a decision she didn’t take lightly.

“They get wrapped up in it and we miss out on our opportunity to go outside and I try to take advantage of the best part of the day to get out and if you’re sitting there watching TV, you’ll miss it,” she said.

Now, she only let’s her kids watch an hour of TV each day.

The AAP also suggested setting some boundaries by limiting children’s use of entertainment media to only two hours per day. It also recommended implementing “screen-free” zones in kids’ bedrooms or at the dinner table.

“The most important thing you can do for your child is to love them, and love them sometimes is to say, ‘Here’s a boundary, you need to stop doing that and do something else,'” Benton said.

This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Health and Science

Photo by Sarah Kimbro.

CDC Hopes This Year’s Flu Shots Will Be More Effective

Experts predict that this year’s flu shot will be more effective at combatting the flu strain than in year’s past. They recommend visiting clinics or local drug stores to get vaccinated in early October, before the peak of flu season.

Dorothy Mitchell (far right) listens to Herman Hale, the director of nursing at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County, explain that keeping the 911 dispatcher on the phone while administering CPR can help them best assess the situation before they arrive. The Florida Department of Health partnered with several organizations to train citizens and employees of Florida counties in Hands-Only CPR.

Marion County Offers Free Hands-Only CPR Training

Marion County is one of 67 counties offering free Hands-On CPR training through the Florida Department of Health for World Heart Day. Partnering with the American Heart Association, the goal is to raise awareness of heart disease and shed light on how CPR can double or even triple the survival rate of a victim.

Peanut Corporation Owner Faces Life Sentence For Salmonella Outbreak

Steve Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Corporation of America was sentenced to 28 years in prison due to a salmonella outbreak. The outbreak was due to the company not following food sanitation rules, said Keith Schneider, a professor in UF’s College of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Flavored Hand Sanitizers Dangers

Hand Sanitizer Leads to Increased Cases of Alcohol Poisoning

Hand sanitizer is supposed to stop people from getting sick from the flu, but small children are becoming sick from drinking the stuff, which smells good and comes in bright colors that appeal to them.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Guide Helps Transgender Community Connect With Health Care Providers

A new comprehensive guide published by TransAction Florida seeks to connect members of the transgender community with qualified doctors and other health care providers and resources.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments