Managing the increase in screen time for teens during the pandemic

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Teenagers are turning to their electronic devices during the pandemic. Classes have shifted online, meeting up with friends has become difficult, and new routines are creating gaps that kids are filling with screen time.

Before the pandemic, screen use in teens was already high. Not including homework, teens spend an average of 7 hours 22 minutes using screen media every day, according to the Center for Parent & Teen Communication.

Because of the pandemic, platforms where day-to-day activities take place are requiring even more screen time.

Health experts with Mayo Clinic Health System say monitoring your children and their screen use all comes down to communication.

“Communicating with them, listening to them, hearing what’s on their mind because their lives have been turned upside own,” says Dr. Charles Peters, a Pediatrician at Mayo. “What was going to be a typical senior year in high school doesn’t look like anything they might have imagined it to be.”

Dr. Peters says if you notice that your teen is more withdrawn than usual, is experiencing severe mood swings or has drastic changes in behavior, to talk to your pediatrician. It’s also important that your child is ¬†getting enough sleep because it improves students’ ability to concentrate, and maintain a good mood and healthy weight.