How much screen time is too much for children during the summer?

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With children out school for the summer, they’re likely to be spending more time with games and another high-tech to distractions. 

Some experts say using tech devices is a form of “digital drug”. Winning a video game can release the same amount of dopamine as inhaling nicotine. Studies show 8 to 12-year-olds spend about six hours a day consuming media. 

“The iPad the other screens they can be good babysitters right and keep kids occupied. I know I’m guilty,” says Roy Petitfils a local youth counselor. He says too much screen time can lead to depression and anxiety in children. 

“We as parents have to be able to provide them with some other more healthy alternatives, whether it’s chores, whether it’s getting a job, or whether it’s just going outside,” says Petitfils. 

Fifty-three percent of American children ages 8-12 have their own tablet, and 67 percent of teens have their own smartphones.

Studies say most parents admit to knowing their children spend too much time in front of a screen but don’t know how to control the massive intake of media. 

Petitfils says, “With the younger kids we need to have more courage as parents and step in to set the boundaries just like we would with any other dangerous object. With the older kids, I think we’ve got to be more conversing with them and we have a dialogue a little more with them.” 

Another important point for parents is to set the example. If you make rules about screen time for children you should make sure that you follow the rules you set, said Petitfils.

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