Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and may the blessings of the holiday season fill your heart with joy.

Media Time…How to devise a family media plan

Kimberly Gubbins, CPNP
 From the desk of 
Nurse Practitioner
Kimberly Gubbins

All of us can agree that technology can be both helpful and harmful. We can also agree that our children can be influenced by technology both positively and negatively. Let us start by outlining some facts and figures.

     1.  Families who own tablets (Ipads, etc.) have increased from 8% in 2011 to 40% in 2013.

     2.  The average amount of time children spend on a mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) has tripled since 2011.  72% of children under 8 years old have used a mobile device for media activity.
    3.  Television is the bulk of children’s media time.

    4.  Children, 8 years and under, spend about 2 hours per day with screen media (TV, computer, video games, Ipad, etc.).

    5.  1/3 of children have a TV in their bedroom. Televisions in bedrooms are strongly discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

   6.  66% of children 2 and under have watched or watch TV. The AAP disapproves of any TV time for children under 2 years old.

   7.  Many families do not have rules in place for media use.

   8.  On average, children age 8-10yrs old spend 8 hours per day with media and teens spend over 11 hours per day with media.

   9.  75% of children age 12-17 years have a cell phone and 88% can text.

Concerns have been raised about the above statistics and facts. Experts are concerned that media time will take away face-to-face family time and is too often used as a babysitter. So what is the answer? Again, there is a positive and negative to media access. It is important to know the content of what your child is watching, where they are using media and how much time is spent on the media screens. The AAP stressed that TV’s and other media devices need to remain out of bedrooms and part of common rooms. The AAP suggests that all families should have a “media use plan.” This plan can outline media curfews, allotted amounts of daily media time and technology free meals. Listed at the bottom of the page is a link for an in-depth guide for parents about media use plans for their home.

How to make a media use plan:

References referencing the Zero to Eight
       Children’s Media Use in America 2013

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