The Canadian Pediatric Society has released new guidelines on screen time for young children and teens.
The society recommends parents prioritize healthy habits including nutrition, face-to-face interaction and sleep over all kinds of screens that are gobbling up more of kids’ time.
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Doctor Michelle Ponti leads the society’s digital health task force and says the guidelines emphasize how and when screens should be used based on age rather than prescriptive time limits, with parents setting an example — like not texting while driving.
Ponti says it’s important to set screen-time limits when kids are young and then have ongoing conversations to avoid arguments when they’re teenagers who don’t want to put down their phones when it’s time to go to sleep.
She says parents and teachers also have to work together to ensure students are learning at school instead of being distracting by their phones while they’re Snapchatting.
Cellphones are expected to be banned in Ontario classrooms starting in September, and jurisdictions around the country have various rules in place to deal with the devices while individual teachers decide the rules in some schools.