If you're trying to navigate the digital world that we live in, with parenting, we get it! Although books and toys are the preferred language tools of our team, we understand that families have needs (hello dinner prep) that might turn screen time into distraction time. When we think realistically with families we talk about limiting exposure to screens while still meeting day-to-day needs.
Our concerns as communication experts begin when media use (e.g. phones, iPads, televisions) replaces physical activity, hands-on exploration and face-to-face social interaction in the real world. These exposures are critical to learning.
The American Academy of Pediatrics set guidelines that we follow here at Sound when working with families of young children. Take a look below to learn appropriate ages and exposures young children should have to screen time.
Among the AAP recommendations:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.