“TV, video games, and the Internet can be good sources of education and entertainment for kids,” says Dr. Puno. “But too much screen time can have unhealthy side effects.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under 2 years have no TV time at all, while those who are older should watch no more than one to two hours a day of quality programming. “Video games provide more interaction than TV,” shares Dr. Santiago. “Active” gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, where players simulate sports activities like tennis or bowling can also help develop fine motor skills. “But it is still important that kids have a wide variety of free-time activities such as reading, playing with friends, and sports,” adds Dr. Puno.
Aileen Puno, M.D., US-based pediatrician; member, American Academy of Pediatrics