(NEW YORK POST) – At every pediatrician appointment for the last several years, I’ve been asked about how much “screen time” my kids are getting. I’m reminded by the doctor that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children younger than two avoid digital media other than video chatting. And for children ages 2 to 5, the limit is supposed to be one hour of high-quality children’s programming per day.
It wasn’t just pediatricians sounding the alarm on the dangers of screen time. Every child expert for the last decade has warned about the dangers of too much: in young kids its impact on brain development, fine and gross motor skills; and for everyone its linkage to obesity and short attention spans. A growing kids podcast industry has sprouted trying to offer parents screen-free alternatives, and one of the most popular topics of conversation in parenting groups is weaning kids off of screens.
Those days of warning about screen time are gone.
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Over the summer, the AAP released its recommendations for the coming school year and unequivocally pushed for “[the] goal of having students physically present in school.” And yet, despite their lengthy recommendations on the importance of reopening schools and details regarding how to do so safely, there wasn’t a single mention of how detrimental all-day online learning would be for children, especially those in elementary school.
The importance of in-person learning, yes. The detriments of distancing learning, no.