How much screen time is OK for my child?

Learn about: How much screen time is OK for my child? from Cara Natterson, MD,...
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How much screen time is OK for my child?

When we talk about screen time, what we mean is any time that you spend in front of a monitor, so that’s watching TV, a video game, it’s staring at something online – it’s passive activity, when a child or an adult is just sitting and staring – that’s screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 0 hours of screen time for children under the age of 2. And I think that’s a great recommendation, because what they’re saying is your child should be moving and interacting with the world around them. They don’t need to be passively watching the screen in order to learn. As our kids get older, we want to limit their screen time, because we don’t want them sedentary, just sitting and looking all the time. So rules will be different in different houses. In my house, during the school week, there is no screen time other than what’s required for homework. And on the weekends, the screen time is really limited. My kids can choose – are they going to go on the computer or are they going to watch a movie? You want to limit it. You want to consider all the screens in your house and just come up with a rule that works for you.

Learn about: How much screen time is OK for my child? from Cara Natterson, MD,...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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