Doctor recommends positive uses of screen time for kids as it increases amid pandemic

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. And when it comes to screen time, it's no surprise that over the last two months, kids have been breaking the recommended guidelines.

Dr. Mary Fristad says while kids are spending more time on tablets, there are positive ways to incorporate screen time into their daily lives.

"This is a time that we know that we are changing the rules, we have to adapt to current circumstances, parents are in a real bind," says Dr. Mary Fristad with Nationwide Children's Hospital.

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Dr. Fristad says kids have needs that should be fulfilled and screen time can help.

"Social need comes front and center, physical needs, creative needs, educational needs and the need for meditation for prayer for calming yourselves," says Fristad.

She suggests apps like "House Party" for social connectiveness. For physical activity, "Just Dance 2020": for creativity, she says try "Scratch": for meditation, "Calm" is a good option and "Brain Pop" is an app that parents can use as helpful learning tool.

Plus, she says when it comes to screen time, don't feel bad breaking the rules for now.

"I think they should feel permission to cut themselves some slack, cut the kids some slack, let go of the rules, you can still have rules but in terms of the quantity, we know that's a given these days," she says.

To learn more about resources available at Nationwide Children's Hospital for mental health, click here.

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