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Kids should not be left to their own devices

Moms and dads should moderate tablets, computers, cell phones and video games.

“The recommendation currently is that kids under 2 get zero screen time,” said Dr. Kristen Ray, behavioral health specialist with Bayless Healthcare. “And then above 2 it’s two hours or less, excluding homework time.”

Proper screen time can have physical and mental health benefits for your kids.

“We know that with sedentary lifestyle choices that we have difficulty with being overweight,” she said.

In addition, she said a lot of times when we are playing on our devices, especially late at night, it really disrupts our ability to get quality sleep.

One thing that can help is making sure kids have other things for kids to do.

“I think it’s really hard for teens and parents to come up with ideas once they’re bored and are sitting around and they know the video game is right there,” she said.

Another thing that can help parents keep kids to the two hour limit; taking breaks.

“Let’s play video games for an hour, take a 15 minute break, come back,” Ray said. “And then when we take our second 15 minute break, let’s do something else, and that kind of takes their mind off of it.”

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