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Screen Time – What do the experts say?

Posted: November 11, 2016

The American Academy of Paediatrics has revised its previous recommendations about screen time for children given a rapidly changing environment. For 2-5 year olds they are recommending less than one hour per day. For children 6 years and older they are recommending the development of a media plan that ensures screen time does not displace sleeping, playing, conversation and physical activities. Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science reviews the complexity around screen time and the validity of these recommendations. She states that it is very hard to determine the nature of activities and concludes with sound and affirming advice:

“Behind a lot of the AAP’s evidence and recommendations is not so much the idea that screens are bad for children but that social, cognitive and physical activity is good for children. It would be interesting to see more emphasis on this positive point. For what parents really need is encouragement in these uncertain and pressured times. It seems to me that the advice they really need is to spend less effort counting screen hours or worrying about whether there’s a screen in the room where a child is studying or playing or, indeed, whether they’re a good enough parent – so they can be free to share in and enjoy lively, confident and pleasurable time with their children, whether or not there’s a screen involved.”

The full article can be found here.