How Much Time is Too Much Time on the iPad?

How Much Time is Too Much Time on the iPad?

In today’s technologically-driven world, it seems as though everyone has an iPad, tablet, or smartphone attached to their hip at all times. In fact, many parents today have found that their iPad is such a valuable resource that it can be used to distract and entertain their children in times of need. Whether busy moms are trying to make dinner in peace, or parents are trying to calm a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, iPads have become one of the go-to solutions for many parents today.

However, many parents are starting to wonder how much time is too much time on the iPad?

This is an important question, as children who get hooked on screens can have a difficult time avoiding them in the future. So, what seems like an innocent approach to calm an upset child in public can eventually lead your child to become quite addicted to technology. In fact, this is why the late Steve Jobs, didn’t let his own children have iPads.

Giving your child too much time on the iPad may not only cause a potential technology addiction, but it can actually impact your child’s development as well, as time on the iPad can eventually replace spending time outdoors and playing in-person with other children. This can eventually make children more sedentary, prevent them from getting exercise and limit their development with certain motor skills. In fact, many studies have found that children today are struggling to learn penmanship because they spend so much more time on tablets and so much less time holding crayons, markers and pencils.

What is perhaps most surprising is just how much time many little ones are spending on their iPads. Recent research found that 10 percent of children under the age of four are put to bed with a tablet computer. Another survey found that 1/3 of children under the age of three already have their own tablets. There are more apps than ever aimed at toddlers and babies and even special car seats and strollers designed to hold iPads.

There is a major risk out there for children who spend too much time on their tablets. But, how do you determine what an appropriate amount of time is and what is too much? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under two should have no screen-time at all. After that, it is a maximum of two hours a day after that. However, most experts recommend even less, particularly in the years before children go to school.

It is important to set your limits with your child and to begin keeping track of their screen time, so you can start to have control over the situation. This can help you establish healthy boundaries between your child and technology and prevent you from getting in the habit of just giving your child an iPad every time you want to distract them. The more diligent you can be with yourself, the better.

Many parents have questions about technology and its impact on their children. If you have questions about your child spending too much time on the iPad, contact Continuum Pediatrics at 817-617-8600 to schedule an appointment and learn more.