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Screen Time and Children

In today's world kids are now surrounded by media all throughout their day, and such media can have both a positive and negative impact on their development. So when and how much media and technology is okay for young children? While every child and form of media is different, in the fall of 2016 the largest group of pediatricians in the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), released a new set of recommendations for media use in children.

The AAP stated that at around 18 months old, children can begin some media usage as long as such media and technology contains high-quality educational value. The Academy gave the examples of PBS and Sesame Workshop programs as high-quality educational forms of media. The AAP also recommends avoiding the use of isolated screen time compared to applications such as Skype with family members to increase social interactions for this age group.

For kids 18-24 months old, it is suggested that parents introduce high-quality digital media that they watch with their children. This ensures that the child understands what they are watching and helps kids see how it applies to the world around them.

Other tips provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics include:

  • Limiting screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs for children 2-5 years old.

  • Watching media with your children to help them better understand what they are seeing.

  • Setting limits on the time spent using media and the types of media for kids 6 and up

  • Ensuring media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity, or other healthy behaviors

  • Designating media-free times together, such as dinner or drive times.

  • Creating media-free locations at home, like the dining room and bedroom.

For more tips and information, check out the full article of recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics here:


American Academy of Pediatrics. “American Academy of Pediatrics announces new recommendations for children's media use”. Retrieved from

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