Screen time and screen use: part of a healthy lifestyle
Screen time and screen use are a normal part 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 lots 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?
- 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 and screen use: tips for balance
- School-age screen time and screen use: tips for balance
- Teenage screen time and screen use: 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
- Online education: a guide for parents
- Screen time and your child’s social life
- Social media for children and teenagers
How can we manage screen time problems and risks?