How Much Screen Time?

Plenty of research has found that babies and toddlers learn best from real human interaction. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time (TV, videos, computers, smartphones) until a child is at least age 2—and just 1 hour a day of high-quality programming for kids ages 2-5.

As mesmerizing as TV seems to be to a baby or toddler under age 2, even high-quality programming has not been shown to offer any benefits to kids at this age. Their waking hours are better spent in active watching and interaction, rather than passive watching; this is true for kids of any age.

Research also suggests that DVDs and videos developed for babies may instead have a negative impact on early language development.

Too much screen time can have long term negative effects on language development, reading and short-term memory skills; it can also cause problems with sleep and attention, according to the AAP. And the sedentary lifestyle of passively watching TV, video and computer screens has been linked to childhood obesity.

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