Posted in 21st Century life, digital kids, family media plan, media and family life, media diet, parents and technology

Pediatricians Recast Screen Time Recommendations & Give Parents Online Planning Tools

Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents and teachers now have two simple and easy-to-use tools that can assist with developing a family’s media plan and estimating how family members can organize their time so that screen time is balanced with physical activity, reading, face-to-face connections, and homework.

A screenshot of the two new media tools.

Every school administrator and every PTA group will want to share the information about these digital planning devices in as many ways as possible. The new tools are available at the AAP’s website.

The Academy has also refreshed its screen time recommendations for children of all ages, making needed updates to reflect the changing digital landscape as well as the many media activities in the lives of family members. Whether you agreed or vehemently disagreed with previous AAP screen and media guidelines, the professional society of children’s physicians deserves high praise for its ongoing efforts to address a media and digital landscape that dramatically affects the health and wellness of young people.

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Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital life, media diet, parents and technology

Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.44.51 PMCheck out a cool infographic over at Tuned in Parents that addresses many screen time questions. The image was created using information from a broad array of evidence-based research conducted by organizations such as Common Sense Media, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Zero to Three, PBS, and a number of research sources, and the infographic addresses many of the questions that parents continuously mull over.

Screen time is for many of us is a conundrum. Most parents and teachers (and grandparents, too) wonder just how to balance the time children spend with screens. Our goal, after all, is to create digital wellness for our children and ourselves — a sometimes lofty goal.

We have many questions including: Continue reading “Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)”

Posted in advertising, American Academy of Pediatrics, digital kids, digital world conversations, media diet, media literacy, screen time

Advertising With Kids as Targets

For several months I’ve been carrying around a New York Times article, How Advertising Targets Our Children, from the February 11, 2013 edition. Written by pediatrician Perri Klass the Well Blog post points out that recently published research links, even more strongly, the exposure of alcohol advertising to a child’s movement toward unhealthy behaviors.

Health Children Media Ed
Check out the Media Resources at

Dr. Klass writes about Exposure to Alcohol Advertisements and Teenage Alcohol-Related Problems (abstract), a Pediatrics article describing new research that finds a stronger association between unhealthy behaviors and the amount of advertising in the lives of children and adolescents. The researchers followed nearly 4,000 children in grades seven through ten.

Read the full text of the Pediatrics article.

In her article Klass quotes the researchers, experts from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy, and pediatrics professors from the Children’s Hospital at Stanford University who have studied the links between childhood obesity and screen time.

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Posted in digital parenting, media and sleep patterns, media diet, parents and technology

Can Healthy Media Intervention Improve a Child’s Sleep?

association sleep patternsThe results of a study published in the September 2012 issue of Pediatrics indicate that parents may be able to positively affect a preschooler’s sleep patterns by making healthier and more educational choices in a child’s media diet.

The journal article, The Impact of a Healthy Media Use Intervention on Sleep in Preschool Childrenexamines whether healthy media interventions in the lives of preschool children can improve sleep patterns. Researchers at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute explain how they conducted a randomized controlled study to discover if the sleep of preschoolers might be improved when families were helped to replace inappropriate and sometimes violent media content with a healthier and more educational media diet. This article is freely available or read the abstract.

The study, which included 617 children and their families from the Seattle area, used two-phase sampling (defined below). In the first phase researchers selected the clinics in the Seattle metropolitan area, making selections that reflected Seattle’s demographic make-up and including providers that served Medicaid patients. In the next phase, researchers invited preschool patients (and their parents) from those clinics to take part in the study. Patients and who met the guidelines for inclusion and agreed to participate were then randomized into a control group (this group received usual pediatric care) and an interventional group (researchers suggested media changes to these participants).

At the beginning, a survey asked everyone about sleep habits, and the researchers classified into categories. Additional information about each child’s media exposure was collected at 6, 12, and 18 months. Of the 617 families who completed the initial sleep survey questionnaire, 565 completed at least one follow-up survey.

Continue reading “Can Healthy Media Intervention Improve a Child’s Sleep?”