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Screen Time

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends none or limited screen time for your child. This depends on your child’s age.

What is screen time?

Screen time refers to the time that your child is watching or listening to anything that has a screen: computers, iPods, vehicle DVD players, gaming systems, cell phones, tablets, and TVs. This also includes the use of these screens in the background, for example, having the TV on during dinner.

To learn more about screen time for your child, click on one of the icons below.

Screen Time (Ages 0-2)

The Canadian Paediatric Society says that children under 2 should have no screen time.

What is screen time?

Screen time refers to the time that your child is watching or listening to anything that has a screen: computers, iPods, vehicle DVD players, gaming systems, cell phones, tablets, and TVs. This also includes the use of these screens in the background, for example, having the TV on during dinner.

Why is this important?

  • You will spend more time with your child if both of you are not distracted by screens.
  • Your baby will sleep better if she is not stimulated by screens.
  • Screen time can interfere with your child’s play, learning, and attachment.
  • There is no known benefit of screen time for young children; even if a product is advertised for young children.

How can you reduce screen time in your home?

  1. Think about your screen time habits. For example, are you texting while breastfeeding or at a family meal?
  2. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time.
  3. Discover new activities you can do together as a family, like going for a walk.
  4. Create screen-free zones in your home, e.g., children’s bedrooms and the play area.
  5. Don’t use screen time as a reward or punishment.

Screen Time (Ages 2-4)

Did you know that the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends under 1 hour of screen time a day for children between 2 and 4 years old?

What is screen time?

Screen time refers to the time that your child is watching or listening to anything that has a screen: computers, iPods, vehicle DVD players, gaming systems, cell phones, tablets, and TVs. This also includes the use of these screens in the background, for example, having the TV on during dinner.

Why is this important?

  • You will spend more time with your child if both of you are not distracted by screens.
  • Your child will sleep better if he is not stimulated by screens.
  • Screen time can interfere with your child’s play, learning, and attachment.
  • There is no known benefit of screen time for young children; even if a product, like an app, says it is for young children.

How can you cut down on screen time in your home?

  1. Think about your habits. For example, are you texting at a family meal?
  2. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time. For example, waiting until your child is in bed before you use devices with screens.
  3. Create screen-free zones in your home, e.g., children’s bedrooms and the play area.
  4. Don’t use screen time as a reward or punishment.
  5. Don’t use screen time as a way to distract your child.
  6. Use media that is shared as a family. For example, age-appropriate interactive videos, games, or movies.
  7. Talk to your kids about what they watch or listen to. Your child may not understand the content the same way you do.
  8. If you have older children, only allow them to use a screen in an area where younger children are not present.

Screen Time (Ages 5)

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends under 2 hours of screen time a day for children 5 to 11 years old. This does not include screen time that is used in the classroom or as part of homework.

Why is less screen time better

Why is less screen time better?

  • You will spend more time with your child.
  • Your child will sleep better.
  • Screen time can negatively affect your child’s play, learning, and attachment.
  • There is no known benefit of screen time for young children; even if a product is advertised for young children.

How can you reduce screen time in your home?

  1. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time.
  2. Create screen-free zones in your home, e.g., children’s bedrooms and the play area.
  3. Don’t use screen time as a reward or punishment.
  4. Don’t use screen time as a way to distract your child.
  5. Discover other things you can do together as a family.
  6. Use media as a family activity not an individual activity.
  7. Use only age-appropriate interactive videos, games, and movies.
  8. Don’t assume your child will take away the same messages as you do from the media that is watched.
  9. Keep the controls for media out of your child’s reach.

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