Coronavirus impact: Doctor gives advice for monitoring kids' screen time amid pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Kids may be getting a lot of extra screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with distance learning. So what's the impact of all that extra screen time?

ABC7 News Special Correspondent Dr. Alok Patel says all is not lost.

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He says you can still create tech-free zones in your house and say "no screen time in the bedroom," or "no screen time at the dinner table."

He also suggests encouraging kids to play. Consumer Reports suggests scheduling play into the day.

If your kids are going to watch TV, Dr. Patel says to watch with them! You can participate and make the TV time productive.

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Speaking of productivity, what about educational apps? A lot of parents are asking Dr. Patel if those are OK.

He says to watch out. Apps will tell you they're educational, so you to pay for them, but a lot of them aren't. His advice is to do your research to find out if the app is truly educational, or if it's just a ploy.

For the teens in your house, beware of the dangers of social media, like cyberbullying. He also points out, "we also want to make sure we're taking care of their posture and their eye health and they are also stretching and looking away from the screen every 15 minutes or so and stretching their back."

It's a lot to digest, but just remember to have some guidelines and always give yourself some grace.

See more stories from ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area here.

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