Screen time and screen use: part of a healthy lifestyle
Screen time and screen use are normal parts of life for most children and teenagers. The time your child spends watching TV and using computers, gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s all about making sure of two things:
- Children enjoy plenty of healthy, fun activities, both with and without screens, including physical activity, reading, creative play and social time with family and friends.
- When children do use screens, they watch or use quality content.
And don’t forget sleep! A healthy, balanced lifestyle for children includes enough good-quality sleep.
Current national and international guidelines recommend that children under two years don’t have screen time other than video-chatting.
Checklist for a healthy approach to screen time
These questions can help you check whether your child is using screens in a balanced and healthy way.
Is your child:
- sleeping enough?
- physically healthy?
- engaged with school?
- connecting socially with family and friends, online and offline?
- enjoying a variety of hobbies and interests?
- doing physical activity every day?
- having fun and learning while using screens?
- using quality content?
If you answer yes to most or all of these questions, your child is probably using screens in a balanced way as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Questions or concerns about screen time
It’s OK to have questions or concerns about whether your family has a healthy and balanced approach to screen time. The articles below have tips and suggestions to help.
How can we use screens in healthy and balanced ways?
- Preschooler screen time: tips for balance
- School-age screen time: tips for balance
- Teenage screen time: tips for balance
- Screen time and your family: a healthy approach
- Parents and screen time: role-modelling for children
- Screen time and sleep: children and teenagers
What is quality content?
- Good apps, games, TV shows, movies and YouTube for preschoolers
- Good apps, games, TV shows, movies and YouTube for school-age children
- Good apps, games, TV shows, movies and YouTube for teenagers
What are the benefits of screen time?
- Shared screen time: why it’s good for you and your child
- Using screen time to encourage physical activity: 3-11 years
- Screen time: how it helps children learn
- Screen time and social life: children and teenagers
- Social media benefits and risks: children and teenagers
How can we manage screen time problems and risks?