Are your kids spending too much time on their phones and other devices after school?

Gina Robinson, MD, a pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s, said it’s important for parents to set limits for their kids to avoid the negatives of too much screen time, like lack of focus.

“The biggest thing parents need to do is set screen time limits from the beginning,” explained Dr. Robinson. “It’s much easier to set the limits and then enforce them than it is to go into it blindly and try to stop kids when they’re in the middle of something, like a TV show or video game.”

In general, Dr. Robinson recommends limiting screen time to two hours a day or less for children.

She said it’s never too early to start the conversation about screen time limits, and it’s important that parents lead by example.

Parents must take a break from their devices if they want their kids to as well.

During the school year, Dr. Robinson said too much screen time can be especially harmful because kids might get distracted and not complete their homework.

It can also impact their sleep.

“Too much screen time before bed can make it harder for kids to get to sleep and stay asleep in order to be well rested for school the next day,” she said.

According to Dr. Robinson, it’s best for kids to stay off their phones and other devices at least a half hour before bed.