Screen time - How much is too much

Screen time - How much is too much

Screens, such as TVs, mobile phones, tablets and computers, have become part of our daily lives. Young children can be fascinated with the colours and movement shown on a screen. But experts agree that screen time is not good for young children.

Screen time often involves sitting or lying down for a long time. Getting away from screens and spending more time being active is good for children. It is good for parents too! It also helps set up these habits for life.

The Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years recommend:

  • For children aged 0-2 years – no screen time.
  • For children aged 3-5 years - no more than one hour of screen time. Less is better!

Screens can show educational programs. But, learning is better for children when they interact with people in real life.

So, how can parents and children reduce screen time? Here are some ideas:

  • Have set times for screen use – if possible not in the day when children can be playing outside.
  • Put screens away when not using them.
  • Try not to offer screen time as a reward for good behaviour, or ban it as a punishment. This can make is more appealing.
  • Set a good example and reduce your screen use. Turn off the TV – especially during meal times, and don’t have TVs in bedrooms.
  • Try having a screen free day once a week.

For more tips on reducing screen time