How much is too much Pokemon GO?

Published: Thursday, July 14, 2016 @ 7:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016 @ 7:08 PM

Time limits on smartphone and tablets for kids can be hard for parents to enforce in the summer, especially with the the exploding popularity of the smartphone app Pokemon GO.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids have two hours of screen time a day, which includes television, computers, smartphones and tablets, but studies show on average children are watching some sort of screen up to seven hours a day.

“It’s really fun and it helps you exercise,” said Chris, 10, as he and his mom, Darlene Roche, caught virtual Squirtles and Zubats in Oakwood using Pokemon GO.

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She estimates they’ve walked 10 miles together since the app came out, and she wants to keep Chris safe.

“He is watching the screen and not always paying attention,” Roche said.

All the screen time is raising concerns for Dayton Children’s Pediatric Psychologist Sarah Phillips.

“It can lead to a lot of difficulties such as sleep problems, difficulty with academic performance, difficulty socially, emotionally, behaviorally. It affects our attention level and our impulse control,” Phillips said.

Phillips recommends setting limits for your children and making sure screen time isn’t taking over the life of your kids or yourself.

What if you must catch ‘em all?

“Do it as a family, so we can create a bonding experience and some shared communication about a mutual interest at least,” said Phillips.

Roche says she is happy she and Chris are getting exercise as they bond.

“His dad just left for the military, so he’s been in kind of a funk. This actually helped him get up and out of the funk. We walk two or three times a day, and it’s been really fun,” said Roche.