Media is everywhere. TV, Internet and video games all compete for children's attention. The information on these pages, including evidenced-based research and other resources, can help pediatricians understand and communicate about the impact media has on children's lives.
Media and Children Overview
Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. Meanwhile, advertising aimed at children is no longer confined to TV commercials and product placement in movies. Today, children are exposed to messages from social media influencers, hidden ads in video games, data collection across many platforms, virtual reality encounters with strangers in games and targeted social media advertisements that are intended to make children take action. It’s no wonder that parents come to pediatricians with so many questions. It also underscores the importance of the need for continued research on the impact of media on children’s health and useful resources that help improve a pediatrician’s ability to counsel families on the healthy use of media in all forms.
Once such resource is the Family Media Plan . Designed to help families make wise media choices, the AAP recommends that parents and caregivers develop a plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each individual child as well as the whole family; and then follow the family media plan together, revising it when necessary.
Research about Media and Children
The Council on Communications and Media is the Academy entity most active in overseeing topics regarding children and the impact that media can have on them. In an effort to inform members and help them inform families on the topic of children and media, the COCM authors have written a number of articles.
Professional Tools & Resources
The following brochure is available for purchase from shopAAP – Beyond Screen Time: A Parent’s Guide to Media Use (sold in packs of 50). Additionally, the following Pediatric Patient Education handouts are available (subscription required to access):
Social Media Resources
Share our Family Media Use Plan tool by linking to it from your website or on social media. Use the following images and sample text to create great-looking links and posts.
American Academy of Pediatrics