Child Doctor says limit 'passive' screen time, no screen-time before bedtime for kids

No screens before bed, doctor says
Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 12:25:33-04

Dr. Lachiando, a pediatrician with St. Luke's Hospital, has advanced the discussion of screen time. She says kids should limit 'passive' screen time to 2 hours per day, and watch no screens for 1-2 hours before bedtime in order for kids minds to wind down properly so they can sleep deeply.

"When the room is dark, that's when the body begins to wind down for sleep," says Dr. Lachiando. Screen time especially in a darkened room disturbs the circadian rhythem -- the pattern of the body to respond to light and darkness so it properly rests, sleeps, and awakens.

The conventional wisdom of limiting screen time to 2 hours per day is unrealistic, she says. "Now we say limit screen time consumption to 2 hours per day of 'passive watching'," or time where your child is simply watching the screen. This response, she says, comes from the reality that kids are often involved in a matrix of screens and screen activities that include mentally engaging work, such as doing homework, or being led by educational videos through a process.