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Where We Stand: Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends minimizing or eliminating media exposure, other than video chatting, for children under the age of 18 months. For older preschool-age children, media limits are very appropriate. Have a strategy for managing electronic media to maximize its benefits.

Co-view or co-play with your children, and find other activities to do together that are healthy for the body and mind. Great examples include reading, talking and playing together.

When you cannot sit down and actively engage in play with your child, supvised independent play for infants and young children is more beneficial than use of screen media. For example, have your child play with nesting cups on the floor nearby while you prepare dinner.

All children and teens need adequate sleep (8-12 hours, depending on age), physical activity (1 hour), and time away from media. Designate media-free times together (such as during family dinners) and media-free zones (such as bedrooms). Children should not sleep with devices in their bedrooms, including TVs, computers and smartphones.

Recognize that your own media use can have a negative effect on children. We encourage families to develop personalized media use plans. Media plans should take into account each child's age, health, personality, and developmental stage. Create your Family Media Plan here. Remember to communicate your plan to other caregivers, such as babysitters or grandparents, so that media rules are followed consistently.

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Adapted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five 7th edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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