Screen time is the time you spend each day using devices with screens like TVs, video consoles, smartphones and tablets. There are benefits and risks to screen time, so a healthy family lifestyle includes limits on daily screen time.
Child development experts recommend limiting children’s daily screen time as real life interactions with you and others are much better for your child’s wellbeing, learning and development.
• children under 18 months should avoid screen time, other than video-chatting
- children aged 18 months to two years can watch or use high-quality programs or apps if adults watch or play with them to help them understand what they’re seeing
- children aged 2-5 years should have no more than one hour a day of screen time with adults watching or playing with them
- children aged 6 years and older should have consistent limits on screen time. These limits are about making sure your child enjoys lots of healthy, fun activities – both with and without screens.
Limits mean looking at the time your children spend on screens and making sure it doesn’t get in the way of sleep and activities that are good for their development, such as physical play, reading, drawing and social time.
Limits don’t mean you should stop your child from watching TV or playing video games.
These guidelines aim to help you manage your family’s media use. A good way is by creating a family media plan. Your plan could cover things like screen-free areas in your house, screen-free times, and programs and apps that are OK for your children to use.
Television, movies, video games and the internet can be a positive influence on your child, especially when you get involved and help your child make good choices and talk about what’s going on.
For further reading and guidelines on screen time go to raisingchildren.net.au.