2 Your Health: Doctors suggest a fast for kids who get too much screen time

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —  Research says a “fast” of sorts can help kids who may get too much screen time. Doctors say too much screen time can cause major problems. It’s a scary new trend parents across the country are experiencing. Children or teens can be “revved up” but also, on the other end, might be tired, depressed or irritable. Doctors have come up with a name for it: “Electronic Screen Syndrome.”

The answer to the problem could be something as simple as limiting how much your child can use screens on a daily basis. Some children can be diagnosed with Depression, Bipolar Disorder, or ADHD but actually could just be dealing with the same symptoms from electronic screens. Local Child Brain Neurologist Dr. Brad Ralston says he sees this issue on a regular basis. He suggests eliminating all screen time for at least a week.

“It’s kind of like any bad habit in my opinion. It’s hard to ween it down it’s better to go cold turkey and see what you get,” said Ralston. “It’s like anything else and say I’m going to cut it out a little bit you’re probably going to go back to it eventually. A little bit leads to a lot more. We recommend cutting it off. Take the iPad and take it to work or something or put it in a safe place, get rid of it for a while and see what your child acts like without it.”

Some neurologists suggest kids fewer than 3 get zero screen time for the first part of their life. Going cold turkey or an “electronic fast” means no screen time at all, including TV, computers, iPads or smart phones. Dr. Ralston says you could see a dramatic turnaround in your child in as little as seven days.

Instead of “screen time” get out and get some “green time”. Go outside and play, get your child to use their imagination.

Dr. Ralston suggest this book for parents titled, “Reset your Child’s Brain.”

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