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Doctors want less computer time for kids

A new American Academy of Pediatrics policy recommends that kids’ screen time, including using a computer or smartphone for entertainment, be limited to two hours each day. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

Doctors are urging parents to limit their kids’ use of smartphones, tablets and computers.

Unlimited screen time can have serious consequences, according to Victor Strasburger, the lead author of the new American Academy of Pediatrics policy, which was announced Monday.

Too much time on the Internet has been linked with violence, cyberbullying, trouble in school, obesity, lack of sleep and other problems. “Many parents are clueless” about the impact media exposure can have on their children, the policy said.

The new policy’s suggested limit of two hours of daily screen time includes using the Internet for entertainment (such as social media, television and movies). Online homework is an exception.

The policy statement mentions a 2010 report that found U.S. children age 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours daily using entertainment media.

“Young people now spend more time with media than they do in school,” the policy says.

— Associated Press

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