Many parents grapple with how much screen time they should or should not allow their children to have. Some new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hopes to clear up some confusion and give parents an idea of what is appropriate for each age group when it comes to screens.
ABC News reports about the AAP’s new guidelines for children and screen time and how it changes as they get older. It’s not much of a surprise that the new report says children should not be exposed to any screen time before the age of 18 months. And then as toddlers, limited educational screen time is recommended.
Beyond 18 months, kids ages 2 - 5 should be limited to one hour of screen time per day. The AAP has advice for parents of children over five as well, saying their screen time needs to be limited in order to allow for extra time each day to be physically active, creative and sleep better at night.
It sounds like a good plan, but in reality when dinner is being made, one child is in a bath, and another is doing homework - it can be very easy to allow more than 60 minutes of screen time to sneak by each day. That’s why the AAP has also created a tool to help support parents in coming up with a media plan. On their website, parents can fill out their own family media plan and decide where and when screens and devices will be used in the household.
The AAP believes it’s important for households to embrace limiting children’s screen time, especially since too much of it can lead to obesity, poor sleep habits and withdrawing from “real life” in favor of computers and phones. Child psychologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland Carolyn Landis urges parents to get more involved with their kids, make putting down the phone fun. Set up playdates where they will have to be active like at a park, bowling alley or rock climbing wall.
What do you think of the most recent recommendations from the AAP regarding screen time and kids?
Do you try to limit your child’s screen time each day?