New Reasons to Limit Screen Time

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to limit the time our kids spend using electronics, here’s another way they negatively affect kids’ health.

Need another reason to log off? Spending too much time online has been linked to depression, obesity and a host of other health risks. Now parents have another reason to get their kids to log off. A small study found that teens who spent at least 14 hours a week online were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who were connected less often.

The researchers looked at teens ages 14 to 17 who filled out a survey on their Internet use, and then had their blood pressure taken. Those classified as heavy Internet users were online two to three hours, seven days a week. Nineteen percent of them had high blood pressure, compared to just seven percent of light Internet users (who were online less than two hours a night, four nights a week). The findings don’t mean your teen needs to quit the Internet cold turkey, but parents should set limits: Kids need a consistent, reasonable bedtime, everyone should unplug during meals and family gatherings, and teens' rooms should be tech-free, especially when it’s time to say goodnight.

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