In today’s world, it can be difficult to keep our toddlers away from screens. Between televisions, tablets, and smartphones, there are screens everywhere. While there are some benefits to screen time, such as educational programming and video chatting, too much screen time can have negative consequences for toddlers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of 2 have no screen time at all, except for video chatting. For children ages 2 to 5, the AAP recommends limiting screen time to one hour per day of high-quality programming.
There are a number of reasons why it’s important to limit screen time for toddlers.
Too much screen time can lead to obesity. Toddlers who spend a lot of time watching TV are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they are less likely to be physically active and more likely to eat unhealthy snacks while watching TV.
Too much screen time can lead to attention problems. Toddlers who spend a lot of time watching TV are more likely to have attention problems, such as difficulty paying attention in school and following instructions. This is because TV can be very stimulating and can make it difficult for toddlers to focus on other activities.
Too much screen time can lead to sleep problems. The light from screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. This can make it difficult for toddlers to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you do decide to let your toddler watch TV, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s a positive experience.
Choose high-quality programming. Look for programs that are educational and age-appropriate. Avoid programs that are violent, scary, or have a lot of commercials.
Watch TV with your toddler. This will give you a chance to talk about what’s happening on the show and answer any questions your toddler may have.
Set limits on screen time. Decide how much time your toddler is allowed to watch TV each day and stick to it.
Make sure your toddler gets plenty of exercise and sleep. This will help offset the negative effects of screen time.
Monitoring your toddler’s TV time can be a challenge, but it’s important to remember that too much screen time can have negative consequences for their health and development. By following the tips above, you can help your toddler have a healthy relationship with screens.
Here are some additional tips for monitoring your toddler’s TV time:
Keep the TV in a common area of the house. This will make it easier for you to supervise your toddler’s viewing habits.
Turn off the TV when your toddler is not watching it. This will help to prevent them from becoming addicted to screens.
Talk to your toddler about the importance of screen time limits. Explain that too much screen time can be bad for their health and development.
Set a good example. If you want your toddler to limit their screen time, it’s important that you do the same – watch free kids cartoons together.
By following these tips, you can help your toddler develop a healthy relationship with screens.