Parents far and wide are abuzz about the American Academy of Pediatrics updated recommendations for screen time for kids. Parents are often stuck between the recommendations from the AAP and subsequent judgment from other parents, and the incredible handiness of a little well-placed screen time for their young children. I’ve admitted to my use of screen time at strategic times, even though it went against the previous recommendations. The reality for parents is that sometimes in today’s busy world we need a little backup in the form of screen time to free up our hands and get things done.
Previously, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that children under the age of two not have any screen time. We all know that limiting screen time is the best idea. However, in today’s world keeping children under the age of two completely away from screens is unrealistic. This is especially so when there are older children in the house who have more access to screens. The new recommendations from the AAP – released in October 2016 – are much more realistic for everyday families. The new suggestions come closer to reconciling everyday life with unattainable standards of perfection in parenting. As is often the case with parenting issues there is usually a moderate middle ground where many of us live and these recently released recommendations feel like more of a middle ground than previous suggestions around screen time from the AAP.
American Academy of Pediatrics Screen Time Recommendations
- Avoid screen time other than video chatting for children under the age of 18 months
- Focus watching along and interacting with high quality media for children 18-24 months old
- Limit screen time to l hour per day of high quality programs for children 2 to 5 years old
- Set consistent limits on media time for children 6 and older with a particular focus on making sure children get adequate sleep and physical activity when setting media limits
- Create a family media plan to set limits on the amount of media time for family members and designate screen- free times and places
Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information about the new media consumption recommendations for children.
Do you agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics? How much screen time do you allow your children to have?