If so, you are part of a growing trend, according to a new survey that looked at the habits of asthmatic children and found that the majority of them who live in urban areas exceed the two hour limit each day that AAP suggests parents implement.

More Urban Children Stay Indoors

The survey, which was conducted to measure the habits of 226 children with asthma living in Rochester, NY, found that three-quarters of them spend more than an hour a day beyond AAP’s recommendations. Driving this trend, at least in part, is the fact that urban settings can often be unsafe for children to play outdoors. Further, when asthma symptoms are acting up, sedentary activities provide an appealing way for children to pass the time. And while no children without this condition were surveyed, the experts feel confident that the findings are consistent with sedentary habits of the general population of young people who live in cities in the United States.

While too much television can be detrimental for any children, AAP stresses that children with asthma are even more prone to the negative effects that typically can be related to too much screen time, such as weight problems, behavioral challenges, trouble in school and attention difficulties.

A Wake-Up Call for Parents

The study findings can serve as a warning call to parents to remind them to take the time to engage their children in more productive alternatives to watching television, browsing the internet and playing hand-hand video games. Child advocates suggest other options -- such as reading, playing games, completing puzzles, drawing and engaging your kids in other mentally-stimulating choices, as well as encouraging them to participate in a host of physical activities when they are feeling able.
In addition, AAP reminds families to pay attention to what children watch, not just to how long they watch, since many adult-themed shows can be found during the day and at night and may be introducing young children to concepts too old for their years.

Ensure Asthma Symptoms are under Control

Finally, public health advocates suggest that parents also look at why their asthmatic children watch excessive amounts of television. If it is because their breathing symptoms are limiting their ability to engage in more strenuous play and sports, it is important to see a pediatrician or allergist and explore different treatment options that may provide more effective symptom control.