The American Academy of Pediatrics’ new guidelines to help kids slash smart phone screen time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Studies show that 53 percent of children now have a smartphone by age 11.


The widespread device usage has prompted The American Academy of Pediatrics to introduce the 5-C’s to help parents manage their kids’ media use.

  • Child: Who is your child? And how does this influence what media they are attracted to?
  • Content: Learn about the content your child is consuming.
  • Calm: All children need to learn strategies for how to manage strong emotions. What are alternatives to using media to calm their brains and bodies down?
  • Crowding Out: Swapping media time for other activities your family cares about, such as quality time, more sleep, or time outdoors.

Psychologist doctor Cynthia Toland of Family Care Center said these steps can help parents foster healthy relationships between kids and their devices, especially as they age and feel peer pressure to have a phone and be on social media. The AAP is offering variations for different age groups.

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“How might media use or exposure for the infant as well as media use by the parent, their caregiver, may be impacting their ability to learn how to self-soothe,” Dr. Toland said. “Whereas on the other end of the developmental spectrum.... it’s really about teaching them digital literacy, how to use the social media responsibly and trying to understand your child as opposed to telling them what to do.”

Spending too much time in front of a screen can impact mood and concentration for kids and teens.

“And, it can interfere with activities that are important for their development, such as, you know, learning to manage their emotions, social interactions, even engaging in physical activity,” Dr. Toland said.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children aged 8 to 18 spend, on average, seven and a half hours each day on screens for entertainment.

Click here to visit the American Academy of Pediatrics, The 5 Cs of Media Use.

FOX News contributed this story.

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