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Summer Screen Time: What's the right amount?

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 20, 2024

HOWARD (NBC 26) — A Howard mother says her two children are going screen-free most days this summer.

  • A Howard mother says her family is trying something new this summer: Her two children, ages 13 and 10, are going screen-free on most days
  • "The goal is pretty simple, the goal is just more quality time together," said the mother, Vanessa Moran
  • Watch the video to hear a Prevea pediatrician talk about different screen time recommendations for different ages

"We decided to implement a semi-screen free summer," said Vanessa Moran.

"It's very simple, it's every other day, no screens," she said. That means no screens at all for Moran's 13-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old son on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

"The goal is pretty simple, the goal is just more quality time together," said Moran, who is a school board member at the Howard-Suamico School District.

"And what I've noticed is: It isn't always quality time with me, per se, but quality time [for my children] with each other," said Moran.

At Prevea Pediatrics, Dr. Rebecca Gehrmann said this kind of conversation about children and screen time is common.

She said The American Academy of Pediatrics has different recommendations, based on age:

"For kids less than 18 months, they really are recommending no screen time whatsoever;

for kids ages 2 to 5, they're recommending about an hour a day;

and then, over age 5, they're really saying it's kind of up to you and your family to come to terms as to what would be best for your family," Gehrmann said.

For younger children, Gehrmann talked about trying to make sure that what children are watching, is educational.

And she said the topic of teenagers and too much time spent scrolling social media has been well studied:

"Really, it can cause depression in kids. it can increase those thoughts of anxiety, those feelings of missing out," Gehrmann said.

"We'd rather have these teenagers go out, explore, enjoy their summer times in person."