GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The American Heart Association is asking parents to limit their children's time on screens. 

  • Most children are spending about six hours a day on devices
  • Health experts worry how this behavior could lead to obesity
  • They say screen time takes away from spending time outside and playing

Most kids use devices for an average of six hours a day.

"Most children should be sleeping at least closer to ten hours per night, and then six hours of screen time, and whatever time they're spending in formal instruction. That pretty much means that all of the available time outside of the classroom and while they're awake is spent in front of a screen," Dr. Tiffany Randolph said. She's a non-invasive cardiologist at Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center.

She's worried about the later effects obesity can have on children.

"As a cardiologist of adults, what I am concerned with is the increasing trend of younger and younger patients presenting to the emergency department with heart attacks," Randolph said.

One reason obesity is being correlated to screen time is because most of the time kids are sitting while using devices, which takes away from the time spend outside and playing.

What children do now will have a lasting impact on them.

"This will be the first generation of children that will probably not outlive their parents in years because they will not be as healthy overall," nutritionist Janet Mayer said.

Studies show that two hours is the maximum amount of screen time a child or adult can have before the risks of obesity increase.

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