A Reconsideration of Children and Screen Time

“The American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy on children and media is probably best known for two recommendations: to discourage any screen time for children under 2, and to limit screen time to two hours a day for older children.”

Technology has transformed our daily lives and has created new questions about screen time for children. Does “no screen time under 2” mean no Skyping with Grandma? Does doing homework on a computer or tablet count as screen time for my 10-year-old, thus using up some of her 2 hours? The original guidelines from the APP were composed in the 1990s, long before screens were used the way they are today, and they essentially referred to television screen time or computer games.

New studies argue that there is a value to high-quality electronic experiences for children and even very young children. But that doesn’t replace the fact that children under 2 learn best from mom and dad and that the emphasis for older children is that “parents need to make sure that they get true nonscreen time built into their days. That means, in part, no screens in the bedroom, and cellphones left for the night in a different room. Families need to create a couple of hours of high-quality offline time each day.”

Perry Klass, M.D. “A Reconsideration of Children and Screen Time.” Well. New York Times Company, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 23 June 2016.

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