What is screen time? If you’re reading this, it’s what you’re doing right now! Screen time is any time spent watching a screen, whether that’s watching TV, scrolling Facebook on your phone, or playing video games.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under age two, and no more than two hours per day of quality screen time for children older than two. Limiting screen time for children can certainly be a challenge, but it’s important for their growth and development. Too much screen time can cause the following:
- Behavioral issues. Children are more likely to have problems paying attention and to show aggressive behavior (tantrums, hitting, biting, etc.)
- Social skills aren’t being developed when watching a screen.
- Physical health can be impacted, and children are more likely to become overweight or obese.
- Creativity and imagination are stifled.
It’s never too late to make positive changes. You can start by removing TVs in bedrooms (including yours!), turning off the TV during family meals and limiting screen viewing times (like after homework is complete).
Reducing screen time can be a family affair! Here are a few screen-free activities for the whole family:
- Read a book
- Play a board game
- Pick up a paintbrush
- Go to the park
- Prepare a meal
- Jump rope
Woman’s Child Development Center, along with five other Louisiana childcare centers, is a participating in a research project called “Pause & Play” with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center as well as policymakers with the Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative. The project will study physical activity and screen-time behaviors in 3- and 4-year-olds to establish community strategies to improve young children’s health behaviors.
For more information about the study, click here.