Managing digital device use this summer

MADISON – As kids start to get bored this summer, they often turn to their phones, tablets and computers for entertainment. But if you’re looking to limit that screen time, two newly-released American Academy of Pediatrics tools may help.

The first is a Family Media Plan, which gives families different suggestions and options for rules and guidelines that can work around their specific goals. The second is a questionnaire for when to get your child their first phone. It’s just 10 questions that help parents assess if they and their kids are ready for those responsibilities.

UW Health doctors said the advancement of technology and the rise of virtual schooling meant it was time to adjust digital use recommendations.

“One of the things that we know from different research studies and from parents giving feedback to their pediatricians is that it can be really challenging as a parent to figure out what your family’s media rules will be,” Dr. Megan Moreno said. “In the old days, we used to say two hours a day. Now in the era of smartphones and tablets, that rule doesn’t really work for many families.”

Dr. Moreno suggested picking a few limiting rules and sticking to them for several months before adding more as kids age.