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Keeping children away from their digital devices can be challenging for parents. These tips can help manage your child's screen time so they can put down their devices and enjoy other activities that develop good habits for a healthy mind and body.


Screen Time Guidelines

These guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help you determine the appropriate amount of screen time for your child.

  • Babies and toddlers up to 18 months should get no screen time other than limited video chats and FaceTime with family and friends.
  • Toddlers 18 to 24 months are allowed limited screen time with a parent or caregiver present.
  • Preschoolers should not have more than one hour a day of educational programming with a parent or caregiver present.
  • Children and teens 5 to 18 years should have consistent limits on screen time, including television, video games and social media. Screen time should not replace schoolwork, sleep or physical activity.

Setting Limits 

Use these tips from the National Institutes of Health to help determine how much screen time a children is allowed. 

  • Make family time screen-free. Put away the phones and turn off the television for mealtime and family events. Talk to each other and make actual eye contact.
  • Model positive habits. Be a good role model and limit your own screen time. You could be surprised at how much time you gain in your day. 
  • No screens in the bedroom. Keep televisions and computers out of your child’s bedroom to promote good study and sleep habits and help prevent isolation and negative behaviors.


Fun Without Screens

Replace screen time with fun, healthy activities and your child may cut down on their own. You don’t need to spend excessive amounts of time or money. Just be creative and focus on fun. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Play a game
  • Go on a nature treasure hunt
  • Take advantage of summer’s longer days and go for a walk after dinner
  • Create a family fitness challenge and work together to achieve success.
  • Get the entire family involved in meal planning, cooking and cleaning up
  • Discover new interests


Call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.

Learn more about the services available at Catholic Health.


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