Ask Dr. Swanson: Screen time for kids

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson shares tips for managing screen time for kids.

How much time should kids spend in front of a screen? Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children’s hospital shares tips to manage your child’s tech time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released refreshed screen time and media guidelines for children and adolescents. Use their Family Media Plan to help you to think about media and create goals and rules that are in line with your family’s values

Key takeaways for parents

  • No more two hours of screen time per day
  • Avoid ALL screen time for children under the age of 18 months
  • Exception: video chatting and FaceTime are approved for use at any age
  • Children ages 2-5 should consume no more than one hour of high quality content per day

Best practices

  • Follow Swanson’s three C’s rule: Curation, Co-viewing and Compartmentalization
  • No screens or devices one hour before bedtime and store devices OUT of the bedroom.
  • Avoid fast-paced, distracting and violent content.
  • Do not use screens and device to calm children.


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