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After-school screen time: Controlling how much is too much

After-school screen time: Controlling how much is too much
After-school screen time: Controlling how much is too much 02:05

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- We are now well into the school year and screens are taking up more and more of our kids time -- so how much is too much in the after-school hours and how do you control it?

KDKA's John Shumway is here with what the experts advise. 

First and foremost, have a sit-down with your child and establish the rules while they are not being mesmerized by a screen. 

This day and age, screen time is pretty much unavoidable. 

"A lot of kids have to use screens for homework now," said Dr. Gina Robinson with the Cleveland Clinic. "They come home with computers and their assignments are on the computers so we don't want to count that necessarily towards their screen time."

Instead, we're talking about recreational screen time. 

"Above age two, limit the screen time to two hours or less," Dr. Robinson said. 

She says that's important for a couple of reasons. 

"We also want them playing outside running around using their own imaginations," Dr. Robinson said.

Too much screen time can lead to issues away from the screen such as a lack of focus and attention or hyperactivity. 

If the screen time comes at night, it can make it harder for the kids to get sleep and stay asleep and get the right amount of restful sleep for the next school day. 

Dr. Robinson says that especially when kids hit middle school and beyond, the limitations become more important.

When it comes to whether or not the 2-hour limit can be continuous or if it needs to be broken up, Dr. Robinson says that every child is different, but if it's video game time, she suggests breaking it up into intervals, because the longer they watch, the harder it is to break away. 

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