Some daunting news for parents who’ve ever used television as a make-shift babysitter while Mom and Dad prepare dinner, pay bills, or do any number of grownup things. (Managed Care conducted a totally unscientific poll and found that that accounts for
70% 80% 85%; well, a whole bunch of parents, let’s say.) The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines on how much screen time toddlers should have. The guidelines are actually looser than the old ones, which recommended no screen time for children under 2, and two hours a day for older children. AAP now says infants and toddlers 18 months and younger should have no screen time except for video chatting, which the organization considers a good way of communicating. Kids ages 2 to 5 should be limited to one hour a day of high-quality programming, so long as the parents watch along with their children. Also, don’t use screen time to calm upset children because that may hinder their coping skills.
The guidelines, published in Pediatrics, says: “Children today are growing up in an era of highly personalized media use experiences, so parents must develop personalized media use plans for their children that attend to each child’s age, health, temperament, and developmental stage. Research evidence shows that children and teenagers need adequate sleep, physical activity, and time away from media.”