American Heart Association
Press Release
December 24, 2021

With the holidays here and school out of session, kids are home for the next two weeks. Make sure to limit the amount of screen time for your child to no more than 1-2 hours of TV/Computer/Video games per day. The average 8 year old spends 8 hours a day using various forms of media, while teenagers get more than 11 hours of media a day. It’s your job as a parent to set healthy limits. We know it’s not easy, but it’s important for their health and well-being.Here are some ideas about how to limit your family’s sedentary time:

Identify free times for activity during the week. Make time to get the whole family moving.

Make a plan to add physical activity to your daily routine. Be prepared to offer age-appropriate alternatives to TV or video games after school. Make physical activity a regular part of your family’s schedule. Write it on a weekly calendar for the whole family.

Be active with your kids. Experts say that what kids want more than anything else is time with their parents. To give them that, don’t just send them out to play — go play with them! Develop a set of activities for you and your family that are always available regardless of weather. Try these easy tips to get active!

Limit TV, computer, smartphone and video game time. Don’t position your furniture so the TV is the main focus of the room. Don’t allow kids to have televisions or video game devices in their bedrooms. And avoid using TV time as a reward or punishment.

Plan TV watching in advance. Pick the shows you want to watch. Turn the TV on for only those shows and turn it off afterwards. Don’t just watch whatever comes on next.

Practice what you preach. Your kids won’t accept being restricted to two hours of screen time if you can veg out for four hours. The best way to influence your kids’ behavior is by being a good role model.

Here’s some active tips to get up and moving!

family game night
shoot hoops or kick a soccer ball
walk the dog
explore a nearby park
turn on some music and dance
do chores that require some physical activity

You can do it! Be strong, have a plan and don’t back down. Your child’s health is worth fighting for.

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