Screen time is the time spent watching TV or using the computer, a mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device.
The National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children (1-5 years) recommend those:
- Under 2 years, should not use any electronic devices
- Between 2-5 years, should be limited to less than 1 hour per day.
Why Should Screen Time Be Limited?
For children under 2 years, it may:
- Impact their ability to develop full range of eye movement
- Affect the length of time they can stay focused
- Reduce the time they have to play and interact with others.
Intellectual, healthy or language benefits from screen-based programs aren’t evident for toddlers under 2 years.
For children 2-5 years, screen time longer than 1 hour per day can be related to:
- Less time playing and being physically active
- Development of language and short-term memory skills being slower
- Higher risk of being overweight.
How To Limit Screen Time
Here are some ways you can help limit your toddler’s screen time:
- Set a guide of how much screen time is appropriate for your family
- Make sure you have other activities available to keep them occupied
- Only have TVs and computers in family areas, keep these out of your child’s bedroom.
Teaching your toddler good screen time habits while they’re young can help them to make healthy choices on how to use their free time as they grow older.