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Kate Middleton doesn't let her children play with this controversial toy; Experts reveal if this dramatic choice is healthy

Posted August 4

Kate Middleton has given moms one more high standard to admire — or criticize. According to Us Weekly, The Duchess and Prince William don’t let their children play with iPads at home.

“As two people who grew up without gadgets for entertainment themselves, William and Kate are firm believers in toys, outdoor play and encouraging an active imagination,” a source told Us Weekly.

What do their children do for fun?

The source said George likes to ride his bike with his Dad and Charlotte loves playing Disney Princess (she still doesn’t know that she is, in fact, a princess).

But is this standard realistic, or even healthy? Here’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

Prioritize unplugged time

Studies on the negative effects of screen time are still a little vague.

“Scientists are just scratching the surface of how screen time might influence growing bodies and minds,” Science News writer Laura Sanders said. “Two recent studies point out how hard these answers are to get. But the studies also hint that the answers might be important.”

What we do know is that unplugged, creative play is vital for developing children. Some of the problems screen time creates is that it cuts down on exploration, physical activity and learning to deal with real-life humans, face-to-face.

Keep children under 18-months away from the screen

Occasional video chatting can be an exception, but otherwise, avoid it.

Only use screens as a tool — not solely entertainment

When you do introduce your child to the screen (it’s 2017, so you can’t keep them away forever) make it a tool for learning. There are a lot of high-quality programs online you can use to teach children, so don’t waste electronic time on things that aren’t helping them develop or connect.

Have a media-free room

This could be a specific spot (like your child's bedroom) or it could be more about a specific time, like dinner. This rule should extend to everyone in your family. That way, you won't have electronics getting in the way of the precious familial bonding your child needs.

Know how much screen time is too much

For children 2-5, there should not be more than one hour of screen time, per day.

During these early years, the AAP also recommends you also watch what your child is watching for that hour.

So are the royals being extreme? We want to know what you think.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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