What should parents do?
The AAP has a few other suggestions for parents. Keep TVs and computers out of kids' bedrooms. That makes it easier to regulate how much time they spend in front of the screen. The AAP recommends limiting screen time to no more than two hours a day, and not right before bed.
Ayoob explains, "If kids aren't allowed to sit in front of a TV for hours, they will have to do something else. Six hours of screen time is equal to six hours of bed rest. Obviously, that's not something that we recommend for kids." Dr. Strasburger also says parents should watch TV with their kids, so they can teach them about advertising and healthy eating habits, despite what they see in the ads.
"When kids spend seven hours a day watching television or on the computer, it's time to think about how that influences them," Strasburger says, "and how we can do the best in homes and at an institutional level to give our kids the best chance in life."