Be Smart About Screen Time

Eight- to 18-year olds spend almost 8 hours a day using cell phones, computers, television and electronic games. Though these screens can be useful, spending too much time with them is limiting. Excessive screen time is linked to obesity as it invites us to sit even more, see more food advertisements, eat mindlessly and get less sleep (which is linked to weight gain). Overdoing screen time can reduce family connection and social skills and create an addictive pattern of always wanting a screen in view.

So where to begin? Start by trackinghow much and what type of screen time your family engages in. Look at the facts, discuss how it is affecting your lives and see where you can cut back. Simple rules like: "No more than an hour of non-homework screen time on school days" help us become more selective. "If I've only got an hour, I'll save it for the show or game I really like and skip the stuff I watch out of habit."

Don't let kids' developmental years be dominated by screens. There's so much more to life. Mix it up a little and pick some fun new activities!

For more family-friendly screen time tips We Can! KY.

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