How much screen time is too much for kids?
For busy families, it's increasingly difficult to balance time spent together and time spent in front of a screen. Screen time has more than doubled for children under age two since 1997, a recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found.
Technology can be useful for learning new skills, but too much screen time, especially early in life, can lead to an increased risk of obesity, sleep impairment, and social, emotional and learning delays.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding screens altogether for kids under 18 months, co-watching high-quality programming with kids ages 18 months to two years, and limiting kids ages two to five to one hour of screen time per day.
Here are some tips to help manage your family's media use:
- Create a specific media plan for your family with details about when screen time will not be allowed, such as at meal times or right before bed.
- In place of electronic toys, look for activities that allow for creative play and social interaction.
- Set a good example for children by emphasizing good media use habits for the whole family.
- Focus on making sure screens don't take the place of sleep, physical activity and other healthy behaviors.
Dr. Badia Jabbour, of Kids First Pediatric Clinic, has decades of experience as a pediatrician and a parent. She is dedicated to the health of her patients and helping parents ensure the overall well-being of their children.
Kids First Pediatric Clinic
18676 Willamette Drive, Suite 300