Will too much screen time leave your child in poor health?

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) At the Child Care Council in Plattsburgh, you see team bonding, healthy eating and a childhood game of Kalamazoo.

But there's something you won't see.

"There are no screens here and it's by design," said Jamie Basiliere of the Child Care Council.

For years, we've heard too much screen time isn't good for anyone. Now, the American Heart Association is backing that up, saying tablets, smartphones and TVs are making kids more sedentary and causing obesity in youth ages 2-19 to rise 8.5 percent.

"The more we can get kids moving and off their screens, the better. It's no difference for kids than it is us. We can't be sedentary; there are too many illnesses that creep up on us," Basiliere said.

Single mom of four Shanika Dashnew said she might keep the TV on for background noise but she doesn't allow much screen time.

"He mostly is too busy playing, climbing on things or being outside," Dashnew said.

Sawyer Lynch of Plattsburgh said his mom has talked to him about screen time, too.

"She trusts me to make my own good decisions at this time," he said.

Sawyer said mom tends to be lenient because he would rather go to a park with friends, but he said he watches about two to three hours of TV a day.

Heather Ahrent of Willsboro also has house rules when it comes to screens. Her mom makes her power down the video games and pick up the books after two hours.

"Your eyes can get drained and you can get really tired throughout the day and that's not really healthy for you," she said.

The American Heart Association recommends if your child is going to have screen time, you limit it to under two hours a day-- and the Child Care Council agrees.

"Parents have to be the leaders of their family and so they have to have screen limits themselves," Basiliere said. "You need to walk the walk to talk the talk and you've got to be very clear with what your rules and expectations are."

The American Heart Association fears if screen time habits continue at their current rate, we could see much more serious health risks in the future.