Healthy Children - September 2011

Kids and Screens

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and less than 2 hours per day for older children.

Excessive screen time puts young children at risk.

  • Forty percent of 3-month-old infants are regular viewers of screen media, and 19% of babies 1 year and under have a TV in their bedroom.
  • Screen time can be habit-forming: the more time children engage with screens, the harder time they have turning them off as older children.
  • Screen time for children under 3 is linked to irregular sleep patterns and delayed language acquisition.
  • The more time preschool children and babies spend with screens, the less time they spend interacting with their parents. Even when parents co-view, they spend less time talking to their children than when they’re engaged in other activities.
  • Toddler screen time is also associated with problems in later childhood, including lower math and school achievement, reduced physical activity, victimization by classmates, and increased BMI.
  • Direct exposure to TV and overall household viewing are associated with increased early childhood aggression.
  • The more time preschool children spend with screens, the less time they spend engaged in creative play - the foundation of learning, constructive problem solving, and creativity.
  • On average, preschool children see nearly 25,000 television commercials, a figure that does not include product placement.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents create an electronic-media-free environment in children’s bedrooms.

On average, preschool children spend 32 hours a week with screen media.

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