In October 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released Media and Young Minds, the new screen time policy statement. This policy provides guidance for providers, families and industry to promote the development of children 0-5 years old and maximize benefit from newer digital technologies. Overall guidelines are as follows:
Avoid fast-paced programs with distracting content and any violent content
Avoid using media to calm children
Monitor apps and media content; test apps before the child uses them
Keep mealtime, bedrooms, and parent-child playtimes screen free
No screen time one hour before bed
Age specific guidelines are as follows:
<18 months: No screen media except video-chatting with a trusted family member or friend.
18-24 months: Choose high quality programming/apps (i.e. Common Sense Media, PBS Kids, and Sesame Workshop) and avoid letting children use the media by themselves.
>2 years old: One hour or less of high quality screen time. Co-use with parent to promote enhanced learning, greater interaction, and limit-setting.
To facilitate family management of screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently launched a Family Media Plan. This online application empowers families to create a customized plan for managing family screen time. Using this plan, families will be able to reduce overall screen time, improve the quality of screen time, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.