The skinny on "screen time"

How much "screen time" should kids have per day?

Digital screens certainly aren't going anywhere and there is great benefit to growing up in the digital age. However, for kids to reap the greatest benefits from media, it is our job to make sure it is kept in balance with other things we know are good for kids like physical activity, free play, studying, family dinners, and fun with friends!

“Screen time” is a good term to use since the modern media diet includes TV, videos, movies, video games and time spent on the Internet. I agree with the recommendations offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • No or very limited media exposure before the age of two.
  • From two to six years old, one hour per day of entertainment media.
  • For school age kids the recommended amount is two hours a day of entertainment media.

Remember that entertainment media includes TV, video games, videos and Internet surfing just for fun. It does not include using the computer or Internet for schoolwork or projects. Many kids far exceed those recommendations. According to the latest research the average American K-12 student now spend more than fifty hours a week in front of some sort of a screen. That’s clearly too much. Let's work on bringing screen time back into balance - our kids will thank us when they grow into happy, healthy adults!