Can I protect my kids’ media use at school? On the bus?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: How do I protect my children against what I consider to be harmful media when they are at school or on the bus?
A: Don’t leave this issue to be regulated by the bus driver, the other riders, or the school. Inform and empower your child to make sound media decisions for him or herself.

Are 3D video games safe for kids’ vision?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Are there are any vision worries we should know about when it comes to kids watching TV or playing video games–especially 3D ones?
A: There’s little to worry about when it comes to how these 3D games affect young children’s eyesight.

The Good News about Children and Media in 2010

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: It seems like all we ever hear about are the negative effects of media. What research has been done on using media in positive ways?
A: Indeed, studies in the past year indicate just how positive media can be for children and families when it is used in a controlled way, paying particular attention to its content and the context in which it is used.

Should kids with central auditory processing disorder play video games?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: We believe that we need to have our child tested for central auditory processing disorder. Is there any correlation between this condition and video game playing?
A: Though extraneous noises are distracting for kids with APD, video games may actually help them focus. But it’s your job to set limits on the amount of game play.

Video Games: How much time is too much?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Is 15-20 hours per week too much time spent on video games–even if my son gets all A’s, and is involved with lots of other activities? Is gaming a good use of his downtime?
A: There is no magic number of appropriate gaming hours: The key is to ensure that gaming doesn’t get in the way of the other important activities of life—like homework, family meals, and sleep.

Do you have any tips on good gifts for kids?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Help! I’m shopping for kids of all ages this year for the holidays, and don’t know where to begin. What are your thoughts about the kinds of toys that are good for kids?
A: This year, focus on the CHILD–opt for Creative gifts you’ve decided upon after doing your Homework on the recipients’ interests, keeping in mind the importance of Imagination, Learning, and making Donations.

My well-rounded teen wants to play violent, multiplayer games. Should I let him?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My 13-year-old likes to play the Call of Duty games, and claims it’s not too violent, bloody, or intense for him—he just thinks it’s fun. Should I let him keep playing it?
A: The answer to your question depends on what you’re concerned about. Given that your son is actively engaged in other activities, it sounds like you’re not worried that it might be getting in the way of other things in his life, so I suspect that your concern is about his exposure to and engagement with the game’s violence.