SUBMITTED BY AMY BILLINGS, YOUTH SERVICES
Looking for guidance on how much screen time is appropriate for your children? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released updated recommendations that can help guide your decisions. Digital media includes watching tv, playing video games, using tablets, smartphones, or computers.
For infants – 18 months, screen time should be limited to video chatting with loved ones far away.
Ages 18 months – 24 months, parents can begin to introduce a small amount of media if they would like to do so, but they emphasize that learning in infants and toddlers occurs best during creative, unplugged playtime.
For ages 2 – 5 years, the AAP recommends a maximum of one hour a day of “high quality programming,” specifically mentioning Sesame Street and PBS as examples. They also recommend that parents watch the shows with their children and engage them to help their children understand what they are seeing and apply it to their own lives.
After age 6, the AAP recommends “consistent limits” that are up to the individual family. They emphasize that there needs to be a healthy balance between using digital media for entertainment and getting enough sleep, participating in physical activity, making time for socializing, hands on learning, and other activities.
That’s good advice for all ages!
Find more information about this and other topics at HealthyChildren.org