As promised, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published its new screen time guidelines this month, with one policy statement specific to young children (ages 0 to 5) and another for school-age kids (ages 5-18).
When it was announced a few months ago that the AAP was revising its recommendations for how much screen time is healthy for kids, the big news was that they were removing the previous cut-and-dry directive that said no screens for kids under 2 years old, and no more than two hours a day for older kids. We were in obvious need of updated guidelines, as those previous recommendations were made before the iPad was even around. Many parents found the AAP’s advice to be impractical at best, and guilt-inducing at worst.
In fact, the overarching theme of these new guidelines is the lack of specific cut-and-dry recommendations. Instead, it’s all about parents being actively aware of what their kids are exposed to, and determining what’s best for their families.
Still, some interesting specific recommendations for young children include:
- Avoid solo media consumption. Instead, watch/listen together and discuss afterward.
- Limit screen time to one hour of high-quality content per day.
- Avoid faced-paced programs and apps with distracting visual content.
The overall takeaway is something that we’ve always believed here at Tales Untold Media, and what led us to develop our audio tales for young children. While digital media is relatively impossible to avoid these days, there are smart ways we can use it to engage our kids in a healthy, productive manner. Finding high-quality content that engages their imaginations and encourages development, without overwhelming them with visual distraction, is the way to go. And we applaud the AAP for providing a nuanced approach to media guidelines that feel less like finger wagging, and more like a useful resource.
p.s. We’re proud to share that the American Academy of Pediatrics also lists Tales Untold as a recommended media resource.