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Too much screen time can make your children anti-social, experts say

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 11:32:59-04

Now that summer break is here, it's tempting for parents to rely on screens to entertain their kids. Milwaukee dad Sharanjit Singh plays outside with his 2.5 year old most days, but screen time is still inevitable.

"He actually watches TV everyday, but we don't allow him to do it for a long time," said Sharanjit Singh.

The Singhs consciously try to limit their son's screen time.

"Thirty to forty minutes. I don't allow more than that," said Singh.

Stephanie Gralton tries not to rely on devices with her two kids.

"She doesn't watch very much TV at all," said Stephanie Gralton.

She saves it for desperate times.

"Sometimes like at the end of my work day and I get home and I'm stressed out and I need a little bit of time. I'll let them watch a show or before I had a 1 year old if I needed to take a shower," said Gralton.

The Director of Aurora Children's Health Dr. Kevin Dahlman said screen time recommendations are always changing.

"There's a lot that we're learning about the child's developing brain," said Dr. Kevin Dahlman.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for anyone under 18 months.

"If you have the TV on in the background that's not what's causing problems. We want to avoid that sitting your 12 month old down in front of an iPad or an iPhone or the TV," said Dr. Dahlman.

You should limit kids aged 2-4 to an hour of screen time a day.

"Of course you don't have to make that hour. Less is better, but of course we understand the society that we live in," said Dahlam.

No more than two hours a day is suggested for kids 4 and older.

"We're learning about the developing brain at this age is that kids don't understand that that screens not talking back to you it's real in their minds," said Dahlman.

Too much screen time can cause little ones to be anti-social. It's up to parents to set an example.

"We want to make sure that we're interacting that we have some times protected times without technology there," said Dahlam.

Dr. Dahlman suggested keeping technology out of bedrooms and off the dinner table.

He also said educational programming is better than entertainment. Here are example of educational options:

E-Learning for Kids