How Much Screen Time Should I Allow My Child?
The Importance of Play: How Kids Learn by Having Fun
Determining how much screen time a child should get is one of the most guilt-inducing decisions we make as modern parents. We constantly ask ourselves how much is too much, or if we are "bad" parents for relying on screen time.
In reality, screen time can be a helpful tool. Some programs are even educational, especially when watched with a caregiver. Shows with songs and rhythmic melodies, for example, can help with language production.
There is a danger in overusing screen time, however. It can quickly take away from quality time spent learning from a caregiver. Here is how I think about balancing screen time as both a doctor and a mom.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines are based on a variety of research that has been done on screen time. They recommend the following:
Children 18 months or younger: No screens, except for video chats with family and friends.
18 months to 2 years old: Limit screen time and do not allow your child to use screens alone. Choose high-quality educational programming, and watch it with your child to ensure they are comprehending the material.
2 to 5 years old: Limit screen time to an hour a day and watch together, if possible.
6 years old or older: Place consistent limits on screen time as determined by the family. Ensure that screen time does not impact your child's sleep, exercise, or behavior.
source: Verywell Family
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