Kids and screens

Children spend a lot of time on screens, which worries many parents. We discuss the effects of screens on kids' mental, physical, emotional, and social health

Listen 49:28
(photo credit, Big Stocks)

(photo credit, Big Stocks)

Guests: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Dimitri Christakis

Many parents are worried about how much time their children are spending on screens – for teens it averages around nine hours a day, for 8 to 12 years olds about six hours. And even kids are troubled by their usage — a Pew report found that 9 out of 10 teens said they were concerned about how much time they were spending online. Still, the battles over screen time rage on in many households, which can be exhausting for parents and children. But is it worth all the fuss? What do we actually know about the effects of screens on children’s mental, physical and social health? How do we differentiate good screen time from bad? And finally, what are the best ways to manage screen time. We’ll talk with two researchers who study the effects of digital technology on children — Temple University psychology professor KATHY HIRSH-PASEK, and pediatrician DIMITRI CHRISTAKIS, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

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