Why You Should Limit Screen Time for Children Under 2

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When you wake up in the morning, you might reach for your smartphone to check your social media or email. You turn on the TV to catch the news before heading to work. You sit in front of a laptop all day. Then you head home, sit down, watch TV with your phone in your hand and a laptop on your coffee table. For adults, “screen time” is almost apart of life. However, for children, especially young children, too much screen time is not necessarily a good thing. If you have a child under two, you may want to limit, or even eliminate time spent in front of a screen.

When children are developing, one-on-one interaction with adults is essential. You need to make sure that the majority of your child’s time is spent interacting with other people to optimize their mental and social development. If or when they do spend time in front of a screen, try to make sure you are there with them, and that the programs they view are interactive, helping them develop. Too much screen time can lead to children having trouble focusing, problems in school and difficulty sleeping as children age.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time is limited, or even eliminated for your youngest children. Try to establish screen free time in your house, limiting home screen time to an hour or less a day. Creating “screen free places,” areas in your home where screens are not allowed is also useful. Finally, try to provide your children with good screen role models by limiting your own screen time when you are around them. Make sure you fully engage with your children instead of checking your smartphone or your laptop. Usually, it can wait for you to check it until later.

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