Screen time

Screen time affects children’s health and development. Limit screen time and engage your child in other activities (e.g., playing with toys, reading, drawing, crafts or dress-up play). While allowing your child to be more physically active, these activities also help her develop social skills and improve her behaviour, attention and language skills.

  • Screen time and language

    Studies have shown that screen time affects the number of words children know by Grade 1.
  • For every hour of passive (non-interactive) screen time, children understand and use fewer and fewer words.

The Canadian Paediatric Society suggests the following screen time limits:

  • none for children under 2 years
  • less than 1 hour per day for children between 2 and 4 years old
  • less than 2 hours per day for older preschool children

Here are suggestions to reduce the amount of screen time for your family.

  • Keep TVs and computers:
    • in a central place where the whole family can see and use them
    • out of your child’s bedroom
  • Choose programs that are educational. Watch and talk about these programs with your child.
  • Remember that your child watches and copies you. Limit the amount of time you spend on the phone, on the computer, watching TV or on other electronic devices.
  • Spend more time outdoors and less time sitting indoors.
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