Excessive media use in children has been associated with obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression and other behavior issues.
A recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with various media outlets, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day.
Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media, for obvious reasons.
Approximately 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.
The concern over this excessive media use is two-fold: the amount of time spent with screens is one issue, and the content they are viewing is another.
On the positive side, pro-social media not only can help children and teens learn facts, but it can also help teach empathy, racial and ethnic tolerance, and a whole range of interpersonal skills.
The AAP has expressed concerns about the amount of time children and teenagers spend with media, and about some of the content they are viewing. In response, the organization has released a policy statement which offers recommendations for parents.
Dr. David Hill, MD, shares tips on how to take an active role in your children's media education by co-viewing programs with them , discussing values and creating a family media use plan.