Monday, October 25, 2021
HomeKids WebHow much screen time is too much for a child?

How much screen time is too much for a child?

Screen time for your child is tricky. You must already know that too much screen time has a negative effect on your child. You need to monitor your child’s screen time. But the question comes to your mind: how much screen time is too much for a child?

1 hour of screen time is too much for a child. But, the amount of screen time varies with the age of your child. Screen time also varies for educational and non-educational content.

In this post, I am going to explain how much screen time is too much for a child for different age groups, by content type and on school days and weekends. So, read on.

What is screen time for a child?

Screen time is the amount of time your child is glued to the screen. The Screen here refers to the display of any digital device you use in your daily life.

But how do you calculate screen time for your child? Is it the total time your child is hooked to a single screen or all the screens he/she uses? The next section will provide you with the answer.

What devices amount to screen time for a child?

Every digital device does not amount to a screen. Only the devices having display or screen adds to screen time.  I will list a few devices that add to screen time.

  • TV
  • Laptop
  • Mobile
  • Tablet
  • Gaming Devices
  • Kindle
  • Car Display Screen (Rare occasion).

Your child may use this device for educational purposes like online classes, making a mind map, making digital notes, listening to educational podcasts, etc. He/She may also use the device for non-educational purposes like listening to music, streaming videos, playing games, etc.

How to calculate screen time for a child?

Screen time is calculated on the basis of time your child spends with a digital device having a screen or display. There are many types of digital devices your child uses. But the one that doesn’t have a screen doesn’t amount to screen time.

Procedure to calculate screen time for a child

To calculate the total screen time you have to follow the following procedure.

  • First, note down the device your child uses everyday.
  • Second, you have to calculate the time your child spent with each individual device.
  • Next, sum up all the time.
  • The answer you got is the screen time of your child in a day.

How much screen time is too much?

Age Group with context to Screen Time

Monitoring and controlling screen time is an important aspect of the well-being of your child. Not only your child, but you should also monitor your screen time.

Too much screen time affects all age groups from babies to adults. It has adverse physical health effects as well as psychological health effects. 

But your child is more prone to the ill effects of too much screen time. Because they are in the development stage.

Screen Time Recommendation

The World Health Organisation and other reputed medical and health organizations have similar recommendations for screen time for children. But there is no recommendation is for adults.

Recommendations for children will be discussed in the next section. Screen time for adults should be reduced as much as possible. Because it leads to many health-related problems. It is up to you, how much time you need to use a screen so as not to stress yourself more.

How much screen time is too much for a child?

You need to understand some other aspects related to your child before understanding how much screen time is too much for a child.

So, we will discuss your child’s development stages and age group of children. Later on, I will discuss in detail how much screen time is too much for a child from an infant to a middle-aged school child.

Child’s Development Stage and Screen Time

Your child’s development is at the peak up to 13 years of age. During this time your child develops in respect of several key domains. 

The key domains are.

  • Physical Development.
  • Cognitive Development Or Thinking Skills.
  • Language Development.
  • Social and  Emotional Development.

Your child needs a great amount of time doing physical activity, mental activity and rest. But too much screen time hampers every stage of the development of a child.  

Age Group with context to Screen Time

With context to screen time, the age group of your child can be divided into  5 broad categories.

  • Under 18 months (Infants)
  • 18 months -2 years old. (Toddlers)
  • 2 – 5 years old. (Pre schoolers)
  • 6- 10 years old. (Elementary Schools)
  • 11 – 13 years old. (Middle School Aged)

How much screen time is too much for a child under 18 months?

According to reputed health-related organizations like the World Health Organisation (WHO), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), etc have endorsed similar screen time restrictions.

Upto 18 months, your child should have no screen time. Your child should not use any digital device or watch television upto 18 months.

But, video chatting with parents, grandparents and relatives is recommended. This is because it creates social bonding. But the chat should be limited.

So, more than 5 mins (video chatting time only) of screen time is too much for a child under 18 months.

more than 5 mins (video chatting time only) of screen time is too much for a child under 18 months.

How much screen time is too much for a child from 18 months to 2 years old?

How much screen time is too much for a child from 18 months to 2 years old

The age of your child from 18 months to 2 years is the most critical development period. So, encourage more physical activities. Also, try creative activities more for the cognitive development of your child.

Your child can have screen time at this age but with strict restrictions. To list, some of the restrictions are.

  • The total screen time should be less than 1 hours.
  • The screen time content should be only educational.
  • Co-viewing is a must. You should watch the content along with your child.

So, summing up this section, more than 1 hour is too much for a child from 18 months to 2 years old.

How much screen time is too much for a child from 2 years old to 5 years old?

Your child at this age should have mindful interaction. This will help them to understand what they are seeing. And then only they can apply to the real world.

At this age, your child can have non-educational screen time along with compulsory education screen time. The screen time recommended differs on weekdays from school days.

The screen time recommendation for a child from 2-5 years old is listed below.

  • On all school days your child of age 2-5 years should have 1 hour screen time of either educational content or non-educational. You can plan to provide 2-3 days of non-education content in a week.
  • On weekdays, 1 hour screen time of educational content and 1 hour screen time of non-educational content.

So, summing up this section, more than 1 hour of screen time is too much for a child from 2 years to 5years old in school. And on weekends more than 2 hours of screen time is too much for a child from 2 years to 5 years old.

more than 1 hour OF SCREEN TIME is too much for a child from 2 years to 5years old

How much screen time is too much for a child from 5 years old to 10 years old?

At this age, your child is getting acquainted with the school. Education and learning are important parts of their life now. Developing different skills is important in this time of their life.

Managing Screen Time of your child from 5 -10 years old

You can follow some restrictions and relaxation relating to their digital life. To list, some are.

  • You should place consistent limits on screen time for different types of contents.
  • Make sure that your child does homework, before using any electronic device.
  • Your child is growing and learning to become self dependent. You can gradually give them more control and choice on how they manage their time, especially the screen time.
  • Make a balance between your child’s screen time and non-screen time.
  • You should make sure, screen doesn’t hamper your child’s sleep, physical activity and mental health.
  • Try to turn off the screen during meals and outings.

Screen time for children from 5 to 10 years old.

  • On all school days your child of age 5-10 years can have upto 1.5 hour screen time of either educational content or non-educational. You can plan to provide 2-3 days of non-education content in a week.
  • On weekdays, 1 hour screen time of educational content and 1 hour screen time of non-educational content.

So, summing up this section, more than 1.5 hours of screen time is too much for a child from 5 years to 10 years old in school days. And on weekends more than 2 hours of screen time is too much for a child from 5 years to 10 years old.

more than 1.5 hours OF SCREEN TIME is too much for a child from 5 years to 10 years old

How much screen time is too much for a child from 10 years old to 13 years old?

How much screen time is too much for a child from 10 years old to 13 years old

At this age, your child is able to understand how to balance their life. You should help them to schedule their screen time to fit in their daily routine.

You should educate your child about screen time, its bad effects, and how to manage screen time, etc

Managing Screen Time of your child from 10 -13 years old

You can follow some restrictions and relaxation relating to their digital life. To list, some are.

  • You should restrict use of any screen at least 1 hour before sleep.
  • Make sure that your child does homework, before using any electronic device.
  • Your child is able to understand the concept of balance.  You can gradually give them more control and choice on how they manage their time, especially the screen time.
  • Educate your child how to balance between your child’s screen time and non-screen time.
  • You should make sure, screen doesn’t hamper your child’s sleep, physical activity and mental health.
  • Try to turn off the screen during meals and outings. It should be followed by all the members of your family.
  • Educate and teach them valuable life skills.

Screen time for children from 10 to 13 years old.

  • On all school days your child of age 10-13 years can have upto 2 hour screen time of either educational content or non-educational. You can plan to provide 2-3 days of non-education content in a week.
  • On weekdays, 2 hour screen time of educational content and 1 hour screen time of non-educational content.

So, more than 2 hours of screen time is too much for a child from 10 years to 13 years old in school days. And on weekends more than 3  hours of screen time is too much for a child from 10 years to 13 years old.

more than 2 hours OF SCREEN TIME is too much for a child from 10 years to 13 years old

Screen Time Recommendations By Age Chart

Age GroupScreen Time on SchooldaysScreen Time on WeekendsTotal Screen Time
Educational ContentNon-Educational ContentEducational ContentNon-Educational ContentSchool DaysWeekend
0 - 18 months0000 (only for video chatting,
max 5 mins/day)
18 months - 2 yearsless than 1 hour/day0less than 1 hour/ day0less than 1 hour/day
2 - 5 years1 hour/dayor 1 hour/day1 hour/day1 hour/day1 hour/day2 hours/day
5 -1 0 years1.5 hours/dayor 1.5 hours/day1 hour/day1 hour/day1.5 hours/day2 hours/day
10 - 13 years2 hours/dayor 2 hours/day2 hours/day1 hour/day2 hours/day3 hours/day

Conclusion

Summing up, we have seen screen time for your child varies between 0 hours to 2 hours.  The screen time depends on the age of your child. It also varies for education and non-educational content. Moreover, your child can have more screen time on weekends than on school days.

I am sure now you know, How much screen time is too much for a child? Now, you can limit and monitor your child on this basis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

References

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Screen Time and Children. www.aacap.org. February 20, 2020

Kids Health Medical Experts. Screen Time Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers. www.kidshealth.org

Swarndeep Singh, Yatan Pal Singh Badhara. “Screen-time” for children and adolescents in COVID-19 times: Need to have the contextually informed perspective. April 14, 2021.

World Helath Organization (WHO). Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and sleep for children under 5 Years of Age. 2019

ZIAUL
My name is Ziaul. I have been in the data-related field for the past eight years working as a Management Information System Manager. I will put my knowledge and expertise in analyzing, decoding, and presenting you the simplified version of the trending topics on the web (internet) I hope, my articles in this blog will be helpful and useful for your daily life on the web (internet).

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Category

Popular Tags