How Much Screen Time Should Children Have?


Nearly everyone spends at least a few hours per day in front of some kind of screen. Whether you use a computer at work, spend time on your phone, or watch TV after dinner, we’re all guilty. Surely you’ve also seen your children spending tons of time on their various devices, too. But how much screen time is too much for children?

Concerns for Children’s Screen Time

If you’ve got young kids, you know how hard it can be to manage their screen time. They might have computer classes at school that increase their screen time during the day. They might even have homework that requires them to use a laptop or a tablet, contributing further to potential eye strain.

There’s more than just eye strain concerns, though. Some studies have shown that an overabundance of time spent staring at screens can result in negative consequences for cognitive development. After all, it’s important for kids to get a good mix of playtime outside and social interaction, as well as learning and reading.

Good Ways to Manage Screen Time

When there are so many ways to spend time that involve screens, it’s hard to help your young ones manage. There are video games, messaging apps, TV shows, and more that are all working to monopolize your kids’ attention. If you’re concerned about their device usage, just talk to them and work together to find other uses for their time.

There are toys, building blocks, playgrounds, arts and crafts, and tons of other great activities that don’t involve looking at backlit screens. These can help to manage eye strain and stimulate healthy cognitive development.

How Much Is Too Much?

As a rule of thumb, you want to try to make sure your little ones don’t spend more than three hours at a stretch using their devices. This doesn’t mean you need to ban devices altogether, but it does mean you should work with your child to help them develop healthy habits.