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Are your kids watching too much TV?

Nearly 75 percent of kids aged 12 to 15 are going beyond the recommended limit of two hours per day for computer and TV usage, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Student's finger on trackpad of computer
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Nearly all youth in the specific age group reported watching TV daily, and more than 90 percent reported using the computer outside of school on a daily basis. “Less than excessive” usage was cited among only 27 percent, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“While the findings of this report aren’t surprising, they do act as a reminder to parents to really think about how much time their child may be watching TV or using a computer,” said Kirsten Herrick, lead author of the report. “It’s very easy to rack up minutes on all these devices.”

Herrick said an accurate read on “screen time” is difficult these days, considering all the devices kids can get their hands on.

“It’s important to think about how much time we allow our children to have on these devices because we know that there are impacts on their health,” Herrick said.

The report cited outside findings that link “excessive screen-time behaviors” to elevated blood pressure and obesity.

“Additionally, screen time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood,” the report stated.

Herrick said now is a great time of year to get kids outdoors and away from the screens.


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