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Published on June 19, 2019

How Much Screen Time Should Young Kids Have?

How Much Screen time should kids get?

The problem with screen time – particularly for young children – is that it is too passive and it doesn’t encourage kids to learn through exploration or to learn motor skills.

Children learn to develop by interacting with their environment: they touch, they smell, they pull themselves up to objects, they interact with something and get an immediate reaction. The biggest downside of spending time in front of a screen is that a screen only offers passive information.

How much screen time is too much? How much screen time is allowed? This is a common question that parents ask. The first thing to recognize is that all screens count toward screen time – including TV, tablets, computers and video games. Ideally, children less than 2 years old should not have any screen time. If they do have screen time, it should be kept under an hour.

The reason screen time should be limited for young children is because it steals from two other very important parts of a child’s life: sleep time and activity time.

About the Author

Kaye Gable, MDKaye Gable, MD is a pediatrician and the program director and clinical professor of pediatrics at Cone Health Pediatric Teaching Program