Limiting your child's screen time
Research has shown that too much screen time can have negative effects on children. It's important to understand how too much screen time can affect your child and why to set reasonable time limits
What is screen time?
Screen time can refer to various types of media, including:
- TV and DVDs
- Video games
- Tablets and smart phones
Why limit your child's screen time?
Overuse of media has potential negative effects on
children under 2 years of age, with no positive effects. Young children have difficulty discriminating between
objects/events on screens and in real environments.
What are the effects of too much screen time?
Overuse of media in children has been associated with the following:
- Social delays
- Sleep issues
- Language delays
- Decreased attention span
- Aggressive behaviors
- Sensory issues
Positive media for children over 2 years of age:
Studies have shown that certain programs have positive effects on children over 2 years old. However, effects of educational videos for children under 2 has not been proven. Two studies have shown that watching "educational" programs have negative effects on language development for children under 2 years. Children 12-18 months are more likely to learn and remember information from a live presentation than from information presented on a screen.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use for children under 2 years old.
- If media is used, parents are encouraged to actively engage in the program with their child.
- Unstructured playtime with real-life objects/toys is recommended in place of screen time.
- Parents are discouraged from putting a television in the child's room.
- Be aware of the distractions that background noise/light that media can present.
- In children over the age of 2, place limits on the amount of screen time the child receives daily.