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Pediatricians Recommend 'Tech-Free' Zones To Cut Back On Screen Time For Tots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- Anyone with a child knows kids just seem to be drawn to tablets and cellphones like magnets. That makes limiting their time in front of screens increasingly difficult even though it's recommended. So what do you do?

Freye Smith is just 2 years old, but she already has her own iPad, and getting her to give it up can be a challenge.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said kids 2 years old and over should be limited to just two hours a day in front of screens and it should be avoided for children under 2 completely, CBS2's Kenneth Craig reported.

Cherry Tun-Smith said that's difficult in today's high-tech world.

"Part of me thinks if I limit her completely then she will be behind in school, because these days everyone is on iPads, using computers," she said.

A study from found one out of three parents give kids their own tablet by the age of 5 and eight percent buy them their own smartphone.

"It's a challenge for everybody to navigate the digital age," Dr. Ari Brown, American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson, said.

Brown said the American Academy of Pediatrics realized the challenge today's parents face and is updating its guidelines to better reflect the modern age. Those changes will come this fall, but doctors said it's still important for young kids to unplug.

"Have tech-free zones. So tech-free zones might be meals times and definitely the bedroom," Brown said.

Smith said she follows the current guidelines as close as she can, but will gradually increase Freye's screen time as she gets older.

Pediatricians say studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, sleep disorders, and obesity.

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