Limit Screen Time for Kids

Decrease Amount of Time Spent on Electronic Devices

Did you know, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, on average children spend seven hours per day using electronic devices? Screen time is any time spent using electronic devices, including watching TV, videos and movies and playing on computers, tablets, video games and handheld devices. For growing bodies and developing minds, it is important to limit screen time use for children. 

Importance of Reducing Screen Time

Watching TV and playing on devices get in the way of children exploring, playing and interacting with grown-ups and their peers—all of which encourage learning and healthy physical and social development. As children get older, too much screen time can interfere with being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends and spending time with family.
Children who consistently spend too much time watching TV and using devices are more likely to be obese or overweight. In addition to spending more time sitting, they learn unhealthy eating practices from commercials or advertisements they see and increase the desire to snack. Overstimulation from screen time can prevent a child from getting the sleep they need at nap time and bed time.

Best Practices for Infants and Toddlers

  • Infants should have no screen time.
  • Toddlers should be limited to no more than four times a year, or never.

Best Practices for Preschoolers

  • No more than 30 minutes per week, or never, while in child care and early education settings
  • Work with families to ensure no more than two hours per day at home by sharing resources and reminders in newsletters.
  • Provide screen time reduction education to parents at least twice a year

Children often watch more TV than is recommended at home so it’s best to minimize screen time in child care and early education programs. Whenever young children in your care do get screen time, make sure it’s for educational or physical activity purposes only. Many educational videos weave developmentally appropriate academic messages or physical activity in seamlessly. Be sure to participate in any activities with the children.

Louisiana centers are required to establish and implement an electronic devices policy (Title 28, Chapter 15, Section 1509). In this regulation, all activities involving electronic devices include, but are not limited to, television, movies, games, videos, computers and handheld electronic devices. The policy must prohibit screen time for children under the age of two and limit screen time to no more than two hours per day for children ages two and above.