The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released updated recommendations for physical activity for children under 5 years of age. Included in this report were recommendations for screen time on electronic devices by age:
Infant (less than one year): Screen time is NOT recommended.
1-2 Years old: No more than an hour for 2 year olds and NO screen time recommended for 1 year olds.
3 to 4 Years old: No more than one hour of screen time.
Limiting screen time for young children encourages active play and reduces sedentary behavior, which is linked with obesity and other health risks.
Sedentary behavior in small children can have significant effects on their development including:
Reduced fine motor skills needed for writing.
Reduced eye contact, vocabulary and communication skills.
Reduced attention and poor decision making skills.
Reduced creativity and problem solving skills.
We know that electronics including smartphones and tablets are a common occurrence in most homes. We can not always keep kids off the screens, but we recommend introducing a regimen to screen time with breaks every 20 minutes. Consider adding blue light filters to computer screens and turning on the blue light filter on smartphones and tablets if available.