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Many parents have, at one time or another, given their child a device or screen to entertain or occupy them. That’s okay once in a while, but some estimates suggest kids are racking up five to seven hours of screen time each day.

That’s concerning, says psychiatrist Joseph Austerman, DO. Young minds need human social interaction and too much screen time can slow a child’s development on many levels.

“The more screen time a child has, the poorer outcomes they have with academic success, so, they don’t do well in school,” Dr. Austerman says. “The more difficulty they have interacting with peers, the more difficulty they will have in developing appropriate social acumen and being able to interact with people socially – it’s directly related to the amount of screen time they had.”

Effects of too much screen time

Children with an abundance of screen time may lose the ability to understand the emotions of others, Dr. Austerman says. This can lead to a child having fewer friends, poor relationships and lower self-esteem. In addition, research has associated higher levels of early childhood screen time with emotional and family issues.

For tweens and teens, he says, spending a lot of time on social media right before bed can disrupt sleep and lead to trouble at school, including symptoms similar to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dr. Austerman recommends kids turn devices off at least an hour before bedtime.

Signs your child may be engaging in too much screen time include a complete obsession with digital media – to the point where they become angry or sad when it’s taken away or cut back.

Model good screen habits

Parents who want to limit screen time need to remember it’s important to model screen-free behavior themselves, Dr. Austerman says.

Sitting down to a family dinner is very positive for social, family and emotional development, Dr. Austerman says. So it’s especially important to turn devices off during dinnertime.

“It’s very important for parents to get off social media, and put the cell phones down when they’re engaging in family activities,” he says. “This is how children learn appropriate behaviors with screen time.”

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-screen-time-can-slow-your-childs-development/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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