New screen time guidelines lifts the “no screen time before 2” rule

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When it comes to your child's screen time, parental guidance is key

If you’re extra careful about your baby’s media consumption, you probably adhere to this guideline set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1999: no screens for kids under 2 years old.

However, a new set of guidelines from the AAP lifts that ban, as NPR reports. Though they still recommend limiting screen time for small children, the guidelines now say that young children can benefit from screen time, provided that they are with their parents.

screen time for kids

Photo: Dreamstime

Here’s the gist of the new guidelines, according to the age of your child:

For children younger than 18 months

Avoid use of screens, but video chat is ok. Evidence has shown that infants and toddlers are receptive to video chat and can learn from these interactions, provided that a parent is present to help them understand what’s going on.

For children 18-24 months old

Parents should choose high-quality programming, and use media with their child. Too much media use is harmful for your child, so limit their screen time.

For children 2-5 years old

Limit screen use to 1 hour/day of high-quality programs (similar to Sesame Street). Again, parents should be present to help them understand what’s on screen and how they can apply it to the world.

To find out about the rest of the guidelines, go to the next page.

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