How Much is Too Much? Fact Sheet – Breakdown of Age Groups for Screen Time

We all know that too much screen time can be bad for our children. What many don’t know is how much is considered too much. Does your toddler need less screen time than your teenager? As a parent, you want to do what’s right. Too much screen time can be bad for the eyes and health of your child. Let’s set the record straight and look at a breakdown of age groups for screen time.

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It is recommended that infants be screen-free. At infancy, there are no benefits to screen time. It can be hard on developing eyes and can even impede on the amount of time the child should be sleeping. Remember that looking at a screen can make it harder to fall asleep after you close your eyes. The only exception to this is when screen time is used for communication purposes.

Around the age of 18 months, children can start to benefit from educational television. It’s important that the programming your child watches at this age is high quality content. There doesn’t seem to be a set limit at this age range, but you want to make sure that children between 18 to 24 months are doing more than just sitting in front of a screen. Screen time should never interfere with playtime, sleeping, or family time.

Kids Aged 2 to 5
Again, kids this age need to be exposed to high quality educational content. It is recommended that their screen time be limited to one hour per day. It is also recommended that parents be involved with what their children are exposed to so that their children understand what they’re watching or interacting with.

Kids Aged 6 and Up
The latest guidelines say that kids should be limited to 2 hours of screen time per day. Some are saying this is too strict while health officials are claiming more than 2 hours per day can affect the brain. It’s important when considering screen time to think about what your child is doing in front of a screen. There’s a difference between watching TV and playing educational games that teach reading, math, and thinking skills. Again, you want to make sure screen time doesn’t interfere with physical activity, sleep, family time, or school.

The guidelines for teens state that they should only have 2 hours of recreational screen time. It’s important to point out that recreational means watching mindless television, scrolling through Facebook, and playing video games. If your teen is reading books on her Kindle, this isn’t considered recreational. However, you do need to make sure that your child is taking breaks to rest her eyes. Too much screen time for long periods can affect vision. It is up to the parent to determine what amount of screen time is considered okay for their teen.

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Also, I have stumbled across this lovely screen time printable from Haikal’s Game Book via Facebook. I truly love following through their updates and if you’re looking for ways to help with your parenting challenges and goals, then I highly recommend checking them out.

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Screen time has come under a lot of scrutiny and with good reason. Kids today have access to a world of recreational screen time. Think of this as junk food for your child’s brain. A little is okay, but too much can be bad for your child’s mental development. It can also affect their vision. Make sure that you’re limiting your child’s recreational screen time to a limit you’re comfortable with.


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  • Surekha Busa

    That was really a kinda big topic in my perspective, i would really prefer not to let kids use too much of a gadget til age 3.

  • Treasure Every Moment

    This is so interesting and something I find such a challenge as a parent. Neither of my daughters have access to tablets, but I do worry about tv so they are only allowed an hour in the morning and 20 mins in the evening. It’s so hard to know what’s best for them!

  • Rebecca | AAUBlog

    this is really interesting, as it can be easy to just leave kids to it if you’re not too careful 🙂

  • michelle twin mum

    It is hard to keep a balance when most everything is done online nowadasy, but the importance of time away from screens outweighs anything else. Mich x

  • Stacie

    This is such a great post. I’m a fan of moderation. I don’t think screen time is bad, I just think it needs to be doled out appropriately. This post is really helpful for doing just that.

  • Lucka

    What a great informative article. I myself spend too much time in front of a screen and I know I should change it even though I am not a child anymore

  • John Mulindi

    This is a good guide but I think teens usually spend more time on TV, than any other people. 2 hours can be too little for teens, getting the best balance can be challenging, but I think having options in place that are attractive to teens is the best thing to do.

  • Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels

    This is really interesting – Pickle is 6 and has a Kids Kindle Fire which he loves. I have to restrict him though or he would be on it all day! Kaz

  • Maggie Unzueta

    Wow! This is very interesting. I believe all moms should read this . Thank you for sharing!

  • Sarah

    Limiting screen time is so important for all of us, but especially young children. I do hate it if I’m honest when my little ones spend any length of time glued to a screen!

  • Tonya Morris

    This was so interesting to learn about! I will absolutely be limiting screen time for my kids when I have them!

  • Marysa

    It’s good to know about limits of electronics for kids. It’s important to limit screen time. My daughter has her own phone and sometimes people worry about it, but honestly it’s all about moderating use.

  • Amber Myers

    I should probably focus more on this, but I never really did. So long as my kids were still going out to play, I didn’t worry much.

  • Alexandra

    This is a great article, and one that is very important in this day and age. Will be sharing this post around for sure.

  • Sara Welch

    I love how this breaks down screen time into age groups; very informative! I needed this!

  • Emily

    There are so many effects of screen time that we overlook and espeically for kids! Everyone needs a limit.

  • Stephanie | Adventures in Aussieland

    I don’t have children yet but work as a child psychotherapist. I’ve found one of the most challenging things I face is convincing parents to decrease their child’s screen time. But there are so many benefits to decreased screen time!

  • Kara

    We mostly limit it to an hour at a time, with at least an hours break, but it does depend on the circumstances

  • Joan

    This is what I have been trying with my 5 year old. He loves playing on his tablet and can literally do it all day if I don’t snatch it away which does cause a meltdown of sorts.

  • Preet

    This is such an important topic to be discussed. Kids are mostly engaged with gadgets and we should limit their screentime especially now. I have heard a lot of disorders that could get from too much use of gadgets.

  • Kelsey

    This was an interesting post. I don’t have any children but seeing how addicted my cousins are to their phones is crazy considering we didn’t have any growing up!

  • Sarah Bailey

    This is some wonderful information for parents, I am sure it is going to help so many people having a bit of a guide.

  • Cris

    This is so helpful! I have been trying to help my nephew to eat regularly, and this definitely helps!

  • Cris

    I would definitely say that less screen time is best. I can see my nephew who is spending so much time on my brothers cell phone. Sometimes I really think this is just sad.

  • Melissa

    This is great information. I definitely limit my kids screen time. They need to learn how to play also.

  • Chad

    This is awesome, yes screen time should definitely be controlled i agree. The topic is very controversial but in my opinion being in front of a screen all the time can’t be healthy.


  • Heather

    Looks like we are doing things right… except for me. I’m on mine all day long, working.

  • Tara Pittman

    This is a great guideline. Now where is the one for adults? I am glad that my daughter does not allow the baby have screen time.

  • Heidi

    This is such great advice. I have three kids, and it is so hard to limit screen time. It’s a difficult balance when screens are part of their homework!

  • Bindu Thomas

    This is really a useful information for all parents. Limiting screen time is so important for all of us, especially young children. Thank you for sharing!

  • Nadj

    Thanks for the informative blog post. Will remember this when I have a family of my own soon.

  • Hannah

    I totally agree! It’s scary how long kids (and adults) are glued to their phones/screens throughout the day.

  • What Corinne Did

    We didn’t have a TV when I was a kid so the question of screen time did not really came up. However, now that everything is so digitalized, it is good to know the limits

  • Sincerely Miss J

    It is hard to keep a balance for me when I have to be online or on the computer for my blog business. Thank you for sharing. I have to figure out how to reduce my time.

  • silvia

    Thanks for sharing this, we need more and more people like you to create awareness about this issue. I have kids and this is a weekly battle.

  • Monidipa Dutta

    I love this post of yours. However, I am pinning it too because this is informative and helpful.

  • Jess

    Thanks for sharing I go back and forth on screen time and it’s good to read another point of view !

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    It’s all about the content that the kids are being exposed to. I used to watch videos with the kids and sing the songs with them.

  • Jess

    Very interesting topic, Thanks for sharing! I try to limit it as much as I can.