Screen Less, Play More

May 23, 2018

The newest episode of Amy’s Affirmations is a call to parents to decrease screen time and increase play time. Yes, it is no surprise that children of this generation have more access to screens than prior generations. Research is showing more and more that it is having detrimental effects. It is a step in the right direction that parents are now seeking apps with features that limit the amount of screen time exposure. But is this enough? In the video posted below, I briefly discuss this topic that I have been passionate about for many years. In fact, Playapy was created in part because of the increased referrals I have received to evaluate children without development disabilities. Many of these children present with weak hand muscles partly due to decreased time playing with traditional toys.

Screen Time

Back in 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced their recommendations for screen time, which I have even shared in the past. For children younger than 18 months, they suggested avoiding use of screen media other than video-chatting. For children 2 to 5 years old,  screen use should not be more than 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. More recently the Center for Disease Control has provided more facts regarding screen time, including that children 8-10 years of age spend 6 hours a day in front of a screen using entertainment media. You can learn more about the campaign called Screen Time vs Lean Time with recommendations for children eight and older here.

Affirmation

Many parents don’t fully understand why too much screen time can have a negative effect on developmental skills. In this episode of Amy’s Affirmations, I briefly share with you some key thoughts to consider and the simple reminder to “Screen Less, Play More.” Check out this video and share your thoughts below. Have you noticed your child developing an addiction to technology? Have you made an attempt to limit screen time in your home? Sharing your strategies may be helpful to another parent.

I hope you find this affirmation helpful. If your child is dependent on watching videos to complete daily activities, it may be time to decrease screen time. Additionally, if your attempts to reduce screen time are resulting in excessive tantrums, you may want to consult with a  professional like an occupational or behavioral therapist for help.

Have a playful day!

Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L

Amy Baez is the Founder of Playapy and Creator of the PALS Handwriting Program. She is a pediatric occupational therapist, play advocate, and parent coach with over 17 years of experience. Learn more at www.playapy.com.

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