Coronavirus: Screen Time Advice for Toddlers to Teens

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: For families with children at home, whether small children, school-aged kids, or even young adults home from college, these coronavirus times are especially challenging
Air Date: 4/7/20
Duration: 15:42
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Donald Shifrin, MD
Dr. Donald Shifrin is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was a practicing clinician and hospital attending in the Seattle Area for 39 years. His residency was at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, where he was also appointed Chief Resident.

Dr. Shifrin was elected President of the Washington State Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 19923-1995. In 1989 he developed and organized a yearly Seattle-Times Washington/AAP Pediatric Telephone Call-In Hotline which continued for 10 years.

Dr. Shifrin served two three year terms ending in 2002 as a member of the AAP Committee on Communications, and subsequently was appointed Chair from 2003-2007. The Committee recognizes and evaluates the physical, mental, and social impact of positive and negative messages communicated to children from the media. The Committee formulates responses to media issues, publishes formal AAP media policy statements, and promotes education related to the impact of these messages on the health of children.
He was appointed as the AAP representative to the National Cable Television’s landmark study on Television Violence from 1994-1997.

Dr. Shifrin also served on the two-year AAP Task Force on Obesity for two years representing the Committee on Communications. The task force ended after promoting obesity as an integral part of the AAP’s Strategic Plan in 2007. He represented the AAP in 2005 for Discovery Health’s CME DVD, “Childhood Obesity, Combating the Epidemic.”

He was the AAP’s Co-Editor for the last three years of the Academy’s first Direct-To-Parent magazine, “Healthy Kids”, published by Primedia. The last issue was published in January of 2002.

He was selected as the AAP’s liaison with Microsoft from 2004-2006. The AAP/Microsoft team was charged to develop Windows Live Family Safety Settings, age appropriate Internet guidelines for their new Windows XP operating system software. The software was developed and subsequently bundled into Windows Vista and Windows OS 7, 8 and 10 as "Parental Controls".

He has testified as the AAP’s appointed representative regarding the Impact of Media on Children’s Health at the National Press Club, in July 2005 and on Food marketing to Children in Washington, D.C to a 2005 FTC two-day meeting.
In June 2007, represented the AAP testifying on “Images Kids See on the Screen” at a U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Since 1997 he has voiced the AAP's Minute for Kids radio spots airing Monday through Friday on Chicago’s CBS flagship station, WBBM, and from 2012- 2015, in 23 other media markets nationwide. (

He co-chaired the AAP/Council on Communications’ Research Seminar in Chicago, “Growing Up Digital.” May 2015.

He served as the AAP representative to the Robert Wood Foundation’s expert advisory panel from 2013-2015 developing the Issue Brief, “Recommendations for Responsible Food Marketing to Children.”

He was the pediatrician-in-studio for three years at Seattle’s KIRO-TV 7-Live Morning Show which ceased production in 1999. He has appeared on Seattle's NBC affiliate KING TV's New Day NW and on KINGTV News. Since 2017 he does a once-weekly live news segment regarding pediatric issues on Seattle's KING5 News.

Dr. Shifrin has been interviewed for many print, radio, radio talk shows, and television segments addressing childhood health and media issues. His interviews on the effects of media and media exposure on the social, mental, and physical health of toddlers, children, and adolescents have appeared in, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek. He has been a featured guest on the Parent’s Journal weekly radio program with Bobbi Conner.
Coronavirus: Screen Time Advice for Toddlers to Teens
The coronavirus is causing uncertainty among us all. It's been a total disruption of what we consider "normal."

How long will the social-distancing and self-isolation last? One cannot tell -- meaning the disruption continues. 

For families with children at home, whether small children, school-aged kids, or even young adults home from college, it can be even more challenging. How can you keep your kids busy and in continued health, despite the restrictions?

Donald Shifrin, MD, provides some simple, effective tips for keeping everyone out of a place of fear and anxiety, as well as how to manage the amount of screen time your kids (and yourself) are getting during these home-bound times.
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