(BPT) - The new school year is here - and it may look a little different. Teens are gearing up for more homework, more papers, and especially this year, more screen time. As of March 2020, teen use of apps and digital services is up 70% in the U.S.(1), and 70% of kids ages 12 to 15 get more than the recommended hours of screen time per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With screen time ever-increasing, teens are exposed to more blue light, which are high-energy wavelengths emitted from the sun, LEDs, and digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. Overexposure to blue light can lead to difficulty falling asleep and inhibit the ability to reach REM sleep.
To help reduce effects of blue light, here are some strategies to help find a better balance for your teen.
Be a healthy-habit role model
Parents have an important opportunity to be a positive influence when it comes to healthy behaviors. They learn from everything you say - and more importantly, what you do. Limiting your screen time is the most effective way of reducing blue light exposure, by limiting your own screen time you show your kids how to treat media as a privilege. Encourage time together as a family without screens or devices present.
Supplement with vitamins and minerals
As kids spend more time outdoors and in front of screens, it's important to make sure they're equipped with the right nutritional support. Alive! Teen Gummy Multivitamins are an excellent source of 16 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, and Lutemax 2020, to help eyes filter blue light produced by the sun, LEDs and electronic devices*.
Set clear rules
Teens often lack the maturity to moderate screen time on their own. Establishing clear rules will provide structure and help your kids make better choices in the future. For example, try sticking to a rule of no screen time during the hour before bed and enforcing electronics-free meal times. This allows everyone the opportunity to sleep better and wake up refreshed - as well as more engaging family communication.
Make time for physical activity
Go for an evening walk. Play a game of catch. Find a sport the whole family enjoys. A little physical activity goes a long way. It provides time away from screens and numerous benefits for physical and social health.
Remember: Pay attention to what's on your kids' screens
Before you let your teen buy a new video or computer game, do a little research, and find out what they are getting. Pay attention to ratings and try to limit them to games rated T (for teens) or younger. You can also use screening tools on TVs, computers, and tablets to block your teen's access to inappropriate material.
And remember, a productive conversation goes a long way. Be open with your teens and follow these tips to help them set screen time boundaries.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.