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.
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.
New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: DeLoache, J.S. et al. (2010). Do babies learn from baby media? Psychol Sci. 21(11), 1570-1574. This study found that children who viewed the DVD did not learn any more words from their month long exposure to it than did a control… Read more »
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.
New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Calamaro, C.J. et al. (2010). Shortened sleep duration does not predict obesity in adolescents. Journal Of Sleep Research,19(4), 559-566. The authors found that environmental factors including TV ≥ 2 h per day and depression were significantly associated with obesity; shortened sleep… Read more »
New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Dumith, S.C., Hallal, P.C., Menezes, A.M., & Araújo, C.L. (2010). Sedentary behavior in adolescents: The 11-year follow-up of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study. Cad Saude Publica, 26(10),1928-1936. FREE ARTICLE The authors found that these 11-year-olds spent extensive time at… Read more »
Q: We have taken away screen media from our son’s daily routine and it seems to be helping with his hyperactivity. Do you think we should continue with this?
Answered by Dr Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®
New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Bleakley, A., Hennessy, M. & Fishbein, M. (2010). "A model of adolescents' seeking of sexual content in their media choices." J Sex Res, Available online July 28. The researchers found that half of adolescents in the study sample reported actively seeking… Read more »
Q: My friend’s child gets up in the middle of the night to play video games and she isn’t concerned about it at all, but it makes me worried. Should I say something or mind my own business?
New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Henriksen, L.; Schleicher, N.C.; Feighery, E.C. & Fortmann, S.P. (2010). A longitudinal study of exposure to retail cigarette advertising and smoking initiation. Pediatrics, 126(2), 232-238. The authors found that exposure to retail cigarette advertising is a risk factor for smoking initiation…. Read more »