Computer Time

Computers count as “screen time,” and child health experts warn against any screen time (computers, TV, phones, tablets, etc.) for kids under age 2. Babies and very young toddlers need live human interaction and physical movement more than anything else to help them learn and develop.

Some child development experts advise against computers for kids under age 3, arguing that computer use doesn’t help young children physically learn and explore.

Yet computers are an integral part of daily life in American households, and it may be unrealistic to expect children not to show an early interest in them.

High-quality software programs for young children may be fun and interesting for short periods (no more than 1 hour a day for ages 2–5), but should not replace the active play and hands-on learning that are best for this age. These programs are also better if you, the parent, are interacting with your child while watching them.

Talk about what you’re both doing and ask and answer questions about what you see on the screen.

See also ...

•  Should your toddler use a tablet?

•  Young children and screen time

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1hour per day of combined screen time—that means computers, TV and video games—for kids ages 2 to 5.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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