How Much Screen Time Is A Good Amount Of Screen Time For My Child?

As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about the amount of screen time your child or teenager is getting. With so many devices and screens easily available, as well as there being many constructive uses for them, it can be hard to know how much is too much.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers under the age of two have no screen time, and that children over the age of two should have no more than one hour of screen time per day. However, these guidelines are just a baseline determination and may not be appropriate for every family. However, one of the main universal concerns about screen time is that it can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to obesity and other health problems. It can also interfere with sleep and social interaction and may lead to difficulty with problem-solving and decision-making skills. On the other hand, screens can also serve as educational outlets as well as provide a source of entertainment. It’s important to achieve a balance and ensure that screen time is not the only activity your child engages in.


What are the risk factors?  

While it might be challenging to draw a direct link between excessive screen time and health problems due to the wide range of variables that can affect any one child or teenager, here are some possible complications:

Weight Gain  

“Many observational studies indicate connections between screen media exposure and increased risks of obesity,” claims a 2017 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. This link is related to screen-related activities, such as more eating while viewing, influence from exposure to advertisements for unhealthy foods and beverages, and less sleep.

Less Time Being Active  

The fact that excessive screen time may cause kids to engage in less physical activity is another factor that could contribute to weight gain. A randomized clinical trial found that “recreational screen media restriction intervention resulted in a significant increase in children’s participation in physical activity,” according to JAMA Pediatrics in 2022. Another study indicated that viewing less TV was one of the indicators of a reduced body mass index (BMI), published in the scientific Journal Obesity 2014.

Sleep Disorders  

Another area that media use might affect is sleep, especially if it is engaged with too soon to bedtime. The blue light gadgets emit, or simply looking at the content on your phone, can activate your brain. Having an increased media exposure or a device like a phone or TV in the bedroom is linked to less sleep each night. Some studies show that even an infant’s sleep duration may be affected by nighttime screen exposure.


How to Evaluate the Right Amount of Screen Time?  

So, how do you determine the right amount of screen time for your child? Here are some tips:

  • Start with limits: Determine how much screen time is appropriate for your child’s age and development level. If you aren’t sure of where to set the bar, begin with a sensical amount and monitor the responses from there. Then, it is important that you stick to them!

  • Monitor content: Make sure the content your child is viewing is age-appropriate and educational. Avoid letting them watch violent or inappropriate shows.

  • Encourage other activities: Encourage your child to engage in various activities, including outdoor play, reading, and physical activity.

  • Lead by example: Set a good example by limiting your own screen time and finding other activities to do as a family.

  • Use screens as a reward: Consider using screens as a handout to earn after completing tasks or for good behavior. It can teach your child to both value the time more than the screen and use it responsibly when they do have it.


A Promising Approach To Limiting Your Child’s Media Consumption  

The best method to limit your child’s media consumption may be to be thoughtful about doing so and then discuss the significance of this change with your child or teenager and the rest of your family. Decide which media they are allowed to consume and when and how you will give them access to it. Additionally, if your child is already accustomed to spending time in front of a screen, it may be beneficial to suggest an alternative.


Our Recommendation  

Ultimately, the right amount of screen time will vary from family to family, even child to child! One option could be to talk to their pediatrician for guidance about their health if you have concerns in this area regarding their screen time. However, as a parent, it would be highly effective to pay attention to how much time your child or teenager spends on screens and how it impacts their overall health and well-being. You know them the best and care for them, so your influence, as well as monitoring may just be able to make all the difference in achieving a healthy balance.


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OurPact, The Ultimate APP to Keep Your Kids Safe Online  

OurPact, an easy-to-use app that helps parents manage their children’s screen time and keep them safe online. With OurPact, you can set up schedules to block screen time during school hours or bedtime, ensuring your kids stay focused when they need to. The app allows you to decide which apps your kids can use, making it easy to separate fun games from educational ones. You can also instantly block devices to prevent distractions whenever needed and reward good behavior with extra screen time. Using the Family Locator feature, you can find your kids and coordinate pickups, and you’ll receive alerts when they arrive at or leave certain places. To keep your kids safe online, OurPact blocks adult content and encourages healthy screen habits with set time allowances. Additionally, you can monitor your kids’ online activities by taking remote screenshots. OurPact makes it simple to create a balanced and safe digital environment for your children. Sign up HERE to get a 14-day trial and 10% off an annual subscription.



*There are affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control  solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small  commission, which does nothing to your price. Thank you!

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