Tag Archives: pediatrics

Kids and Screen Time: Ten Facts Parents Should Know

By Lauren S. Matthews, MD, pediatrician with Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice

Lauren Matthews, MD

1. Under age 2, children develop important cognitive, language, sensorimotor, and social-emotional skills through hands-on exploration and social interaction. Media use for this age group should only occur when an adult is standing by to co-view, talk and teach.  

2. For children ages 2-5, screen time including television, computers, tablets and smartphones should be limited to no more than 1 hour per day. With too much screen time, younger children are losing out on key interactions with parents, adults, and other children necessary for development.

3. For older children and adolescents, sedentary media exposure should be limited to 2 hours per day. This recommended limit applies solely to screen time for entertainment purposes such as television, streaming services, gaming consoles and social media. Older children and adolescents are spending more time interacting with a virtual world than building face-to-face relationships.  

4. Children who watch too much television in infancy and preschool years can show delays in attention, thinking, language and social skills. High levels of media use are linked to obesity and cardiovascular risks as early as childhood. And, there is a well-studied association between violent content on television and behavior problems. So, parents should also monitor content.   

5. Identify certain areas in the house as “tech-free” zones. Bedrooms should be screen-free areas because increased media exposure there is linked to fewer minutes of sleep per night and puts children at an increased risk for sleep disturbances. And, meal times and parent-child play times should be “unplugged.”  

6. Find an activity your child enjoys and involve the entire family. Unplugged and offline playtime encourages creativity. Make this type of playtime a daily priority. Parents should join in the activities.  

7. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers parents the opportunity to develop an interactive family media use plan that aligns with your family values and parenting styles. This type of plan can be helpful so that children and parents have specific expectations of media time. Visit aap.org to learn more.

8. Parent media use is a strong predictor of child media habits. Reducing parental television viewing and enhancing parent-child interactions can be an important opportunity for emotional connection and the early development of language, cognition, social skills, and emotional regulation.  
 9. An increase in screen time has been identified as a leading contributor to the growing childhood obesity epidemic. Limiting screen time encourages physical activity. Children and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.  

10. Not all screen time is “bad.” High-quality educational programs can help improve cognitive, language, and social outcomes. For families that find it difficult to modify overall amount of media use in their homes, changing to high-quality content may be a more reasonable alternative. When using apps and games, find options that truly engage the child rather than just swiping or staring at the screen.  
Lexington Pediatric Practice has board-certified physicians, caring nurses and staff members who are focused on providing the best care possible for your child. The staff puts your child’s care as the top priority with kid-friendly labs, vaccines and treatments at two convenient locations in Lexington and West Columbia.

811 West Main Street, Suite 204
Lexington, SC 29072

3240 Sunset Boulevard
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 359-8855

The HPV Vaccine

The human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted disease in males and females. It’s also linked to cervical, mouth and throat cancer. In fact, HPV causes 70% of cervical cancers.

Patients should receive three injections over six months, ideally before their first sexual encounter. That’s why clinicians recommend the vaccine for 11 and 12 year olds.

Dr. Lauren Matthews of Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, explains more about the HPV vaccine in this WLTX interview.

Dr. Matthews joined Lexington Medical Center recently. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, Lauren S. Matthews, MD, earned her Doctor of Medicine from USC and completed her residency in Columbia.

Dr. Matthews also served as chief resident at USC, acting as a liaison between residents and the program director, coordinating resident schedules, attending operational committee meetings and participating in an organizational leadership series. Additionally, she collaborated with senior residents and interns on the development of a mentoring program and served as chair of
the Pediatric Residency Recruitment Committee. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and South Carolina Medical Association, she has additional certifications in neonatal resuscitation and pediatric advanced
 life support.

Dr. Matthews joins the board-certified physicians and nurse practitioner at Lexington Pediatric Practice to offer a full range of child-health services, including routine checkups, vaccinations, diagnostic services and minor procedures. As the first pediatric practice in the town of Lexington, Lexington Pediatric Practice has served the community for more than 20 years.

Dr. Caroline Webber on Summer Safety for Kids

From Sunburn to bug bites – Dr. Caroline Webber of Lexington Pediatric Practice, a physician practice at Lexington Medical Center, talks to Tony Tally on WACH FOX about summer safety for children.

Click the link to watch the full video: WACH_06-13-2013_22.31.41

COLUMBIA (WACH) – Pools, playgrounds, sporting events, and a lot of outdoor activity will be on the to-do list for some as the summer begins. However, staying hydrated and beating the heat will also be at the top of the list as summer temperatures rise.

Dr. Caroline Webber, a pediatrician with Lexington Pediatric Practice, says hydration is one of the most important things if children are going to be out in the heat and humidity.

Additionally, bug bites and sun burns are two concerns during the summer season. Protective lotions such as sunscreen lotion are recommended.

“The damaging rays are the ones that are the UV rays,” says Webber. “Those are the invisible ones. UVA and UVB.”

Children are most exposed to sun during their childhood, which is why protecting children throughout the summer is really important.

In addition to light clothing and sunscreen, staying out of the sun during peak times of 10 am to 4pm can also be extremely helpful in preventing sunburns.

Dr. Webber’s office is located at 811 West Main Street in Lexington.