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  • Dr. Mojgan Makki

Summer and Screen Time, Part 1

Despite the global pandemic, the seasons have changed. The weather has warmed and our kids have finished with or will soon finish school. Even though e-learning wasn’t ideal for most, at least it kept our kids occupied for a good part of the day. What are they going to do now and for the rest of the summer? Many camps, jobs, and internships have been canceled. Summer festivals and concerts have also been canceled, and most of us remain uneasy about travel or even just letting our kids hang out with other kids. Should we let them sit and watch Netflix or surf social media all day? What exceptions should we make to our usual rules about screen time, given these uncharted circumstances? In our next email, we will provide advice and recommendations to help you deal with this contentious family issue. First, please take the following quiz to see how much you know about the guidelines and effects of screen usage among children and teenagers. The answers are listed at the end. You might be surprised.

1) What Percentage of adolescents have at least one social media profile?


A. 50%

B. 30%

C. 20%

D. 60%

E. 40%

2) According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2016 guidelines on screen use, which of the following is the recommended time limit for children aged 18 to 24 months?

A. 1 hour

B. 4 hours

C. 3 hours

D. 2 hours

E. 0 hours

3) What is the current recommended screen time limit for teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics?

A. 1 hour

B. 5 hours

C. 3 hours

D. 4 hours

E. The AAP recommends against too much screen time, but does not give a specific time limit, as long as it doesn’t replace time needed for sleeping, eating, being active, studying, and interacting with family and friends.


4) A mother seeks consultation for her teenage son because he is “always messaging with his friends on his phone.” She says he texts his friends about 15 to 20 times per day. She says that outside of this issue, he functions well. Which of the following is the most appropriate counsel?

A. Be reassured that his texting amount is similar to that of his peers

B. Send him to get treatment for media addiction

C. Review all his texts and send them for him

D. Take away his phone

E. Make him sign a contract stating that he will limit his texts to five per day


5) Which of the following is the most concerning effect of digital media on young children?

A. Decreased classroom engagement

B. Less time for creative play

C. Displacement of exercise

D. Disruption of the parent-child dyad

E. Less time with friends

6) Experts' guidelines recommend that televisions be located in which of the following areas in the household?

A. Oldest sibling’s room

B. Basement

C. Child’s room

D. Common area

E. Most private area

7) Some studies found increased screen time is linked to increased depression and anxiety in teens.


A. True

B. False

8) There is no such thing as “good” screen time and “bad” screen time. All screen time should be considered equal.

A. True

B. False

Answer Keys: 1) D 2) E 3 )E 4) A 5 ) D 6) D 7) A 8) B

How did you do? Next week, we will discuss the data behind these answers and provide suggestions for helping you manage your kids’ screen time this summer.

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