Kids and online time: Parents should set limits - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Kids and online time: Parents should set limits

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PHOENIX -

Are your kids spending too much time online? The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a limit -- no more than two hours a day. Any more could slow down your child's development.

There's an incredible amount to see online -- a world of information and entertainment at your fingertips. But doctors say too much of this could deprive your kids of sleep and the chance to develop their minds.

It's hard to resist the charms of hi-tech gadgets, especially for kids.

But the American Academy Of Pediatrics says it's a good idea to set limits: no more than two hours a day on social media and entertainment sites.

"Well I think you just need to establish what the rules are in your home that you are their parent and it is your job to protect them and to be actively involved in their life," says Dr. Kate McDonnell, Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Some parents are already restricting access. Amerika Morado and Eduardo Medina want their daughter Bella to spend more time with books and getting a good night's rest.

"That is one thing we try to keep our kids from at night, is when they need to sleep. A lot of kids are up all night doing texting and gadgets," says Medina.

The house rule is no gadgets after 9:30 at night for the couple's teenage kids -- and Bella too.

"Because it allows her to become a child and have other options, instead of being stuck on the TV or other electronics," says Morado.

And when kids are online, the Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to keep an eye on what kids post.

"I think teaching them what is responsible about posting. Every emotion does not have to be posted and sometimes it is inappropriate to post every emotion that they are having," says Dr. McDonnell.

The pediatrics group also says unrestricted media use is connected to violence, cyberbullying and obesity. More good reasons to set limits.

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