Two Hours or Less of Screen Time
By Christy Minges, MMH Registered Dietitian
For the past several months, we’ve been discussing the 5-2-1-0: Be A Healthy Hero initiative. If you missed past articles, please click the links at the end of this article to learn more!
Below we are going to dig in a little more to the ‘2’ of 5-2-1-0.
2 Hours of Less of Screen Time
Screens are everywhere these days, but too much screen time has been linked to obesity, reduced physical activity, behavioral and social issues and low grades. Also, if the child has a screen in his or her bedroom, this could lead to loss of sleep.
The recommendation of two hours or less refers to recreational time, not time at school for educational purposes. Every little bit of screen time can add up quickly! A little TV at breakfast, a video game on the ride to school and the iPad after school could easily add up to be more than two hours.
If you have younger children, the recommendations may be different. For children younger than 18 months, avoid the use of screens altogether and for children ages 2 to 5, the recommendation is one hour or less per day. Sticking to these recommendations can be difficult, but even just cutting back is an improvement.
Some ways to cut back include removing screens from bedrooms, setting daily time limits, and/or setting one day a week to be unplugged, like ‘tech-free Tuesday.’
For more ideas, visit healthychildren.org.
Ideas for Unplugged Activities