How much time on a device, computer or television is too much for children two years and younger? What guidelines are available to assist parents of these children? What resources are available to help set appropriate expectations for children of all ages? These and many answers may be found in the recently released guidelines for ‘screen time’ by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Just this month the American Academy of Pediatrics softened its “screen time”recommendations for children under the age of two years. As early as 18 months children may be introduced to educational programming with parental interaction. It is important for parents to remember to avoid solo media use with this age group through the age 24 months. While it is not recommended that children under the age of 18 months spend any amount of time in front of screens, there is one exception — video chatting. Video chatting with a facilitator to aid in what they see, allows for appropriate interaction for even the youngest of children.
As with everything, moderation is key. Finding a balance between play, sleep, reading, interaction and screens makes for a well-balanced child. A parent’s own “screen time” has a direct impact on children as well. Parents are encouraged to put down their smartphones when interacting with their children. Taking the time to give a child eye contact and listening not only models appropriate use of technology but also supports social skill development in young children. Using screen time to help create, collaborate, think critically and communicate together builds stronger relationships and enhances healthy relationships. However, nothing replaces face-to-face interaction and active engagement with children.
For more information on how to create a plan with your child(ren) and to set appropriate media expectations, check out this new tool provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, available in both an English version and Spanish version.
For more information, contact Cari Teske AEA 267 Integrated Learning Specialist at 1-800-735-1539.