Screen Time in Children
Updated: Oct 11, 2020
Do we as parents count screen time used for virtual distance learning as part of the daily recommended screen time allowed?
With millions of students nationwide moving to virtual learning programs, trying to slow the spread of the Corona Virus, the concern about exposing young children, especially the younger ones, to significantly more screen time.
Most parents are saying, "there goes our screen rules."
With parents struggling with new routines, rules, working from home, if they're lucky, and helping to oversee their children's online education, the screen time guidelines have been falling to pieces.
Implementing Screen Time for Your Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that children ages 8 to 10 spend an average of 6 hours per day in front of a screen, kids ages 11 to 14 spend an average of nine hours per day in front of a screen, and youth ages 15 to 18 spend an average of 8 hours per day in front of a screen.
The National Institute of Health recommends that children under the age of 2 should have no screen time. With 3 to 5-year-olds, they should have no more than an hour of extra screen time. For those that are the ages of 6 and 7, screen time should be kept at around 1 to 2 hours a day, and 8 to 12-year-olds should have no more than 3 hours a day.
When it comes to applying this rule to online learning, some recommend 20 minutes of class time and assignments followed by 10 minutes of physical activity for younger children. Older children and teens may be able to focus on assignments for longer stretches. Remember to help and remind them to take breaks between subjects. It is very important for parents to understand that off-screen time can be the practice of the work being learned while being on a screen. Also, for every hour of screen time that a child endures, they should be active for 15 minutes. When thinking about your child's screen time, it's not all equal. An app that works as an educational tool is not the same as a video game. Building in breaks is necessary, and adding in physical activity and movement throughout the day is helpful, but each family might want to incorporate that into their daily routines in their own unique way. Routines and schedules are very important right now, and it will also help kids and families better understand when it is a good time to be on screens, working, and when it is time to play, relax, and chill.
Some Tips to Help:
Set a routine:
- Wake up at 7:30 - Get dressed for the day - Eat breakfast - Set up for school - Start class
Take 10-minute breaks after 20 minutes of being in front of a screen:
- Have a dance party - Read a book - Play I-Spy - Color - Make a craft
Try and make an activity based on the subject your child is learning about:
The National Institute of Health recommends that children under the age of 2 should have no screen time. With 3 to 5-year-olds, they should have no more than an hour of extra screen time. For those that are the ages of 6 and 7, screen time should be kept at around 1 to 2 hours a day, and 8 to 12-year-olds should have no more than 3 hours a day.eep or cuddling sometimes, even talking to parents or siblings can help wind a child down — screens fuel a child's mind.
It’s crucial when children have their extra amount of screen time. Always try to do screen time an hour to two hours before the child’s bedtime. The blue light from screens releases melatonin into our brains, alerting and waking you up. Following this, it then delays your sleep cycle. Moving Forward As for parents continuing with their children doing school work on computers and over Zoom chats, they should watch how much screen time they are using. Depending on the amount of time they are using during the day, for school-related purposes, set an amount of time they can use other apps or devices. Example: if a 10-year-old child used 3 hours of screen time for school and homework, they are allowed to have an extra hour of screen time. OR Example: if a 7-year-old child used 2 hours of screen time for school and homework, they are allowed to have an extra 30 minutes of screen time. Pediatricians warn not all apps are developed with input from developmental specialists and can do more harm than good when they restrict playtime with caregivers and other children. Important to Keep In-Mind
The biggest and most important aspect to keep in mind during this pandemic, when kids are going back to school, or learning virtually, it’s crucial to balance screen time with other healthy behaviors.
We hope these tips will help you right now with all that our children are facing and being behind screens more than ever.
Don't forget we are here for you if you need any help with your children! We offer nanny and many other services that you can check out here.