The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed its recommendations for screen time for children. Screen time includes time spent viewing TV, computer, phone and other electronic device screens. The recommendations are as follows:
Under 18 months: Avoid screen time other than video-chatting.
18 months to 2 years: Less than one hour, monitored screen time with parents, viewing high-quality programming such as PBS or Sesame Workshop. Help them understand what they’re seeing.
2 to 5 years: One hour of screen time per day of high-quality programming with parents. Help them understand what they’re seeing and apply it to the world around them.
6 years and older: Establish consistent limits on time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure it does not interrupt adequate sleep, physical activity and other healthy behaviors.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends designating media-free family time and locations, and they encourage ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect both online and offline. A planning tool for family media use can be found online at HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan.