>>Screen time guidelines

Screen time guidelines

Screen time guidelines 2018-06-01T14:39:00+00:00

Watching TV and playing computer games are common activities for kids, but it’s important to note that kids who spend long periods of time in front of screens are more likely to have poor physical, social and intellectual development.

Activities that involve sitting down and that do not need a lot of energy are called ‘sedentary’.

There are some sedentary activities that are good for kids’ development such as:

  • reading books and listening to stories
  • quiet play such as drawing and puzzles

However, these sedentary activities are not good for kids and should be limited:

  • watching TV and DVDs
  • playing computer and electronic games
  • using smart phones/ipads

Recommended screen time limits

Babies (0 to 2 years old)

No screen time at all

Why? Babies should not be watching TV or DVDs as research suggests that TV watched in the first two years of life may be connected with delays in language development.

Pre-schoolers (2 to 5 years old)

No more than 1 hour of screen time including watching TV or looking at a computer or phone.

Why? Evidence suggests that long periods of screen time are connected with slower development of language skills and carries an increased risk of being overweight. Kids will benefit more from talking, singing, reading or playing with other kids.

Kids (5 to 12 years old)

No more than 2 hours of screen time including watching TV or looking at a computer or phone.

Why? The less time spent inactive in front of a screen, the better their health will be. Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible with playing games outside, doing chores or playing with other kids.

Teenagers (13 to 17 years old)

No more than 2 hours of screen time including watching TV or looking at a computer or phone.

Why? The less time spent inactive in front of a screen, the better their health will be. Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible with playing sport, doing household chores, cooking dinner or walking the dog.