Digital Media

Digital Media: Promoting healthy screen use in school-aged children and adolescents is a Canadian Paediatric Society position statement that reviews the evidence for the cognitive, psychosocial and physical effects of digital media on school-aged children and adolescents. 

 

MANAGE screen use through plans, rules, and limits

 

  • Make a family media plan that includes time and content limits

  •  for each family member.

  • Be present and engaged when children and youth are using screens.

  • Whenever possible, watch together and talk about content.

  • Discourage media multitasking, especially during homework.

  • Follow your child or teen’s social media profiles.

  • Speak to your children regularly about acceptable and unacceptable online behaviours.

 

 

Encourage MEANINGFUL screen use, so that time online serves as a purpose

 

  • Ensure daily routine comes first: face-to-face interactions, sleep, physical activity, mealtimes.

  • Choose screen activities with active, social or educational uses.

  • Help children and youth to recognize and choose content appropriate to their age and stage.

  • Play video games withyour kids. Ask about their experiences and encounters online. 

 

 

MODEL healthy screen use, because your kids are watching you

 

  • Review your own media habits and be sure there is time for hobbies and outdoor activities.

  • Never text or use hand-held devices while driving.

  • Have daily “screen-free” times for the whole family, especially during meals.

  • Turn off screens not in use, including background TV. 

  • Keep screens out of bedrooms.

 

MONITOR for signs of problematic screen use

 

  • Seek help from your child’s doctor if you’re concerned.

 

How much is TOO much?

 

Some signs of problematic screen use at any age include:

 

  • Complaining about being bored or unhappy without access to technology.

  • Oppositional behaviour in response to screen time limits.

  • Screen use interfering with sleep, school or face-to-face interactions.

  • Screen time interfering with offline play, physical activities or socializing.

  • Negative emotions following screen use.

 

If these signs are persistent or interfere with family life, ask your child’s doctor for help.

 

More information for parents is available at www.caringforkids.cps.ca

 

 

Reference:

Canadian Paediatric Society