When is the Right Age to Introduce Your Child to Screens?

The question of when to introduce children to screens is a common concern among parents. While technology offers numerous educational and entertainment opportunities, finding the right balance is crucial for a child’s healthy development. So, how do you decide when, how, and how much? 

Under 18 Months: Video Chatting Only

Experts suggest that the appropriate age to introduce screens to children varies depending on individual factors such as maturity level, developmental stage, and family values. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding screens altogether for children under 18 months, except for video chatting with family.

18-24 Months: Educational and Supervised

Between the ages of 18 and 24 months, introducing high-quality, educational content in limited quantities can be beneficial, provided it’s accompanied by active engagement and parental supervision. As children grow older, gradual exposure to screens can occur, with a focus on age-appropriate content and setting clear limits on screen time.

3-5 Years: Interactive and Guided

By preschool age, around 3 to 5 years old, children can begin to explore interactive learning apps and programs under parental guidance. For non-educational screen time, the AAP recommends up to an hour per weekday and 3 hours per weekend day. Still, it’s essential to prioritize outdoor play and social interactions for their holistic development.

6 Years and Older

From the age of 6 onwards, it’s mostly about helping children create healthy habits and limit screen time reasonably.

Ultimately, the key lies in mindful monitoring and fostering a healthy relationship with technology. Regularly reassessing screen time habits, encouraging balanced activities, and modeling responsible screen use are essential steps in guiding children toward a healthy digital lifestyle.