On October 21, 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that it has issued revised recommendations for children’s use of screen media. The announcement acknowledges the ubiquitous role of media in children’s lives. Among the AAP recommendations:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
In addition to the recommendations, the AAP has published an interactive online tool for families to create a personalized Family Media Use Plan.
Read the AAP announcement and the Media and Young Minds policy statement.