(NBC News) – The COVID-19 crisis has kids in front of computers, TV and smartphones more than ever before.
That’s forcing parents to find a new balance in order to avoid old risks.
“We know that especially in children that this can lead to difficulties with sleep patterns, emotional difficulties, behavioral difficulties and academic difficulties at times,” says pediatric psychologist Dr. Emily Mudd.
While the last few months of last school year were saved by online classrooms, that shift also forced a review of the rules about screen time beyond school.
“It’s important for them to take breaks, at least every hour and for younger kids every 30 minutes or so,” says Dr. Nicole Beurkins, a clinical psychologist and ambassador for device monitoring app Qustodio.
The limits should also cover more than the amount of time children are on their devices.
“No screens in the bedroom, so not before bed or first thing in the morning, no screens at all during mealtimes and no screens in the car,” Dr. Mudd says.
Vision is another reason to monitor your child’s screen time.
There is a high amount of blue light coming from the screens.
“Research is showing us some real short term consequences for our eyes,” warns optometrist Dr. Chad Dockter.
That’s especially prevalent in the eyes of young children.
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