The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that balances the health, education, and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family.
How Much Screen Time is Appropriate?
New guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics last fall show varying recommendations of screen time by age.
- Under 18 months: Avoid use of screen time other than video chatting
- 18-24 months: Introduce high-quality, educational programming and watch with them
- Ages 2-5: Less than one hour per day of high-quality programs.
- Ages 6 plus: Place consistent limits on screen time and make sure it doesn’t take the place of exercise and other healthy activities.
For grade school children and teens, the point of limiting screen time is to make sure it doesn’t interfere with important activities such as physical activity, quality family time, unstructured down time, and sleep. That will enhance their social skills, problem-solving abilities, and healthy habits for the future.
Quantity And Quality Matters
In addition to placing time limits on media, it’s also important to monitor the quality of screen time your kids are getting.
- Research age-appropriate, high-quality programming
- View content with your children
- Have an ongoing dialogue with kids about safety and respectful behavior on- and offline
In addition to these guidelines, it’s also important to enjoy quality time together that doesn’t involve TV, online games, or apps. Designate media-free times and spaces in the house to help create this boundary for both you and your kids.