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Study: Parents Should Limit Children’s Use Of Social Media, Smartphones

American Academy Of Pediatrics Says Computers Should Stay Out Of Bedrooms
Young boy with iPad (file/credit:YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Young boy with iPad (file/credit:YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Do you limit your child’s use of social media and cell phones?

If not, you might want to start.

A leading group of pediatricians says parents need to know that unrestricted use of smartphones and social media could have serious consequences for their kids.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics wants limits on tweeting, texting and other platforms.

“We’re not calling for limits to texting or Internet surfing but passive screen time: playing video games, watching movies,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Victor Strasburger, told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot on Monday.

The two-hour-a-day limit it had earlier recommended on entertainment screen time would now include not just movies and TV, but also Facebook and Twitter.

The influential group says smartphones and laptops should stay out of children’s bedrooms.

“If you’ve got a 14-year-old son and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, I will be you both of my mortgages he is watching pornography,” Strasburger said.

More: Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

The policy statement cites a 2010 report that found U.S. children ages 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media.

“There needs to be a more reasonable number than eight hours a day,” said Dr. Strasburger.

The doctor noted that he’s raised two children of his own and said those who would peg him as out-of-touch are mistaken. He said it’s important to set a precedent early.

“The easiest way to do this is when your kids are 2, 3, 4 years old,” Strasburger told Cabot.

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