Doctors Say Children Need Limits On Texting, Tweeting, Social Media
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children should not have laptops or smartphones in their bedrooms, and should have strict limits on using social media.
In today's Pediatrics, the AAP is recommending that children spend no more than two hours a day on Internet sites.
In addition to well-publicized cases of cyberbullying, the Academy says that "unrestricted media" is also linked to obesity, lack of sleep, and social problems.
What qualifies as social media? According to the AAP's report entitled, "The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Familes," any site "...that allows social interaction is considered a social media site, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter; gaming sites and virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Second Life, and the Sims; video sites such as YouTube; and blogs."
The study's lead authors, Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, M.D. and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, M.D., state that pediatricians have a responsibility not only to help parents recognize potential sources of social media stress for children and adolescents, but also to help provide "anticipatory media guidance" and help "educate youth to be responsible, sensible, and respectful digital citizens."