Time spent by children in front of a television, tablet or cellphone screen has been a serious subject in recent years. Margo summarizes the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
0 to 18 months: only one exception applies
The AAP recommends that screens be avoided for children under the age of 18 months, on the pretext that they will not benefit from them in terms of education. On the other hand, one exception is video exchange with software such as Skype or Facetime. In this case, the interactions that take place respond to emotional and relational needs.
18 to 24 months: under certain conditions only
In this group age, children can listen to certain programs or play mobile applications. One condition, however, is that they must be of excellent quality. The AAP also recommends that parents be present to help the child understand what he sees.
2 to 5 years: limited moments
The AAP recommends that preschoolers spend a maximum of one hour per day in front of screens (all types combined). In addition, it is always suggested that parents be with the child and that the selected programs and applications are educational topics. Finally, free play time, interactions with siblings and parents as well as sleep time should always come before screens.
6 years and older: common sense
Previously, the AAP suggested a maximum of 2 hours of screen time per day for school-aged children and teens. Now, we are putting more emphasis on awareness about the time spent on the screen and the attitudes to have online.
Also, it is important to ensure that the child or adolescent:
- is getting enough sleep
- has enough time to complete his/her academic duties
For all ages, the AAP recommends that families:
- have times without a screen (at mealtimes, for example);
- have rooms in the house without access to visual media.
Do you find it difficult to put time limits on your children? Do they not know what to do otherwise? Contact us! Our team of specialized psycho-educators know how to help you!