Kids today are using screens more, earlier, and on a wider variety of devices than ever before, and more and more parents are seeking help in taking control of their children’s screen time. The Canadian Paediatric Society’s Digital Health Task Force, which includes MediaSmarts’ Director of Education Matthew Johnson, has released a new position statement that will guide doctors and other health care providers in giving parents advice on the “4Ms” of screen time: minimizing, mitigating, mindfully using and modeling healthy screen use .
Minimize screen time:
- Screen time for children under 2 years old is not recommended.
- For children 2 to 5 years, limit screen time to less than 1 hour per day
- Avoid screens at least 1 hour before bed.
Mitigate the risks associated with screen time:
- Prioritize educational, age-appropriate and interactive programming.
- Be present and engaged when screens are used and co-view with children.
Be mindful of all screen use in the home and model positive habits:
- Turn off screens when not in use and avoid background TV.
- Be aware of how adults’ use of screens can influence children.
MediaSmarts has produced two tip sheets to help parents manage their children’s screen time: