It's screen-free week, a week sponsored by The Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood, when families are encouraged to go without watching TV, using the computer, or playing video games. Instead, families are encouraged to try other activities and get some exercise.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting the screen time of children over the age of 2 to no more than 1 or 2 hours a day. But experts say today's children and teens are spending about 7 hours per day watching television or using computers, phones, and other electronic devices.
Good quality programing and media can provide children with fun entertainment, exposure to other cultures and positive social values but too much time in front of a screen can take its toll. Experts have linked excessive use to obesity, irregular sleep, a decline in school performance and behavioral problems.
There are strategies that families can adopt to limit screen time. Child experts suggest that parents keep TVs and computers out of a youngster's bedroom, discourage eating in front of the TV, and lead by example.