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Is Mommy Getting Too Much Screen Time?

“Mommy, can you pleeeeease add more time?” is a common refrain in my house these days as my eight year old tries to negotiate past his thirty-minute daily allowance on the computer.

“No!” I reply. Ever vigilant about the amount of screen time my babies log every week. After all, we’ve heard it from experts over and over… screen time increases the risk of childhood obesity, behavioral problems, issues with communication and concentration, eye strain, etc. etc. etc.

This is even for active kids like mine who play soccer and basketball. A study at the University of Bristol’s centre for exercise, nutrition and health sciences in the United Kingdom showed that even children who had an hour or more of exercise a day but who watched TV or were on the computer for at least two hours a day were still 54%and 48% more likely, respectively, to have psychological problems.

So it’s nor surprising that The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children above the age of two should watch no more than 2 hours of screen-based entertainment per day.

I fact that I may or may not have shared in response to “Mommy, pleeease….”

“I already said no.”

To which the reply may or may not have been “But you’re above the age of two and you’re on the computer all the time.” (insert whiny voice here)

To which I definitely did NOT reply, “IT’S MY JOB!!!” because three exclamation points could be easily misconstrued as a behavioral problem in some circles, I’m certain. Or, at the very least, a “communication issue.”

I caught a clip on ABC about how TV screen time can actually cause… DEATH! According to an ABC report, women who spend greater than six hours sitting a day in comparison to those who spend less than three hours sitting a day, are 37% more likely to DIE!!! (emphasis added).

According to the study conducted by a group of international researchers, anyone who devotes more than four hours daily on screen-based entertainment such as TV, video games or surfing the web, ups their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113 percent and the risk of death by any cause by nearly 50 percent compared to those who spend less than two hours daily in screen play — and this is regardless of whether or not they also work out.

I’m wondering if this means four hours in a row. Do potty breaks set the counter back to zero? I mean, I have not actually tallied how many hours I spend in front of a screen… I mean, not having a TV at all helps but er, yes… I know the phone counts.

Does it still count if I’m standing as I tweet? I mean, it is actually physically to possible to Pin while on the treadmill, you know?

I challenge all of you other digital moms out there… could you adhere to the screentime limits you’ve set for your kids? Okay, let’s be more realistic… could you adhere to the American College of Cardiology standard of less than four hours a day? What would your limit be?

Yes, that includes the phone, people!

Ria blogs as Practical Mommy here. Tweets here and Pins here.

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