Screen Time Guidelines

Recently we received dome information from Sport BOP regarding screen times guidelines for children. This information is very interesting and highlights why we do not have ipads in our centre - we want to encourage our children to play and learn using the environment and those around them.

The information provided came from an article published by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP)  and they advise parents to set limits on screen time by creating a Family Media Plan

Below is a summary of the article:

Children younger than 2 years need hands-on exploration and social interaction with trusted caregivers to develop their cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional skills. Because of their immature symbolic, memory, and attentional skills, infants and toddlers cannot learn from traditional digital media as they do from interactions with caregivers, and they have difficulty transferring that knowledge to their 3-dimensional experience.

For children younger than 2 years, evidence for benefits of media is still limited, adult interaction with the child during media use is crucial, and there continues to be evidence of harm from excessive digital media use

Multiple developmental and health concerns continue to exist for young children using all forms of digital media to excess. Evidence is sufficient to recommend time limitations on digital media use for children 2 to 5 years to no more than 1 hour per day to allow children ample time to engage in other activities important to their health and development and to establish media viewing habits associated with lower risk of obesity later in life. In addition, encouraging parents to change to educational and prosocial content and engage with their children around technology will allow children to reap the most benefit from what they view.


  • Avoid digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger than 18 to 24 months.
  • For children ages 18 to 24 months of age, if you want to introduce digital media, choose high-quality programming and use media together with your child. Avoid solo media use in this age group. 
  • Do not feel pressured to introduce technology early; interfaces are so intuitive that children will figure them out quickly once they start using them at home or in school.
  • For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programming, coview with your children, help children understand what they are seeing, and help them apply what they learn to the world around them. 
  • Avoid fast-paced programs (young children do not understand them as well), apps with lots of distracting content, and any violent content.     
  • Turn off televisions and other devices when not in use.·         
  • Avoid using media as the only way to calm your child. Although there are intermittent times (eg, medical procedures, airplane flights) when media is useful as a soothing strategy, there is concern that using media as strategy to calm could lead to problems with limit setting or the inability of children to develop their own emotion regulation. Ask your pediatrician for help if needed.       
  •  Monitor children’s media content and what apps are used or downloaded. Test apps before the child uses them, play together, and ask the child what he or she thinks about the app.       
  • Keep bedrooms, mealtimes, and parent–child playtimes screen free for children and parents. Parents can set a “do not disturb” option on their phones during these times.
  • No screens 1 hour before bedtime, and remove devices from bedrooms before bed. 
  • Consult the American Academy of Pediatrics Family Media Use Plan, available at: