Babies and young children should not be allowed unlimited screen time at a young age. Little children do not have fully developed eyes for the first couple of years of their life. This is a big part of why you should not let little kids watch hours of TV if at all possible.
TV is not an ideal entertainment item for kids who are very young. Babies especially should not watch a lot of TV, but toddlers should also be limited to an hour or so of TV time per day. This is a relatively new recommendation from doctors to parents of young children, but it is backed by study.
How Old Do Children Need to be to Watch TV?
If you have a young child, you should limit their TV time until they are at least 18 months of age. It is even better to limit TV time until they are five or six. There are so many physical things that little kids need to be doing to develop proper vision and motor skills. Parents can offer puzzles and toys to keep little kids busy, and this will be much more beneficial to their development.
It is increasingly clear that children are being exposed to TV at a very early age due to the fact that everyone carries cell phones with them everywhere. It is all too simple for kids to take the phone from their parents to check out what they see on the screen.
Exposure to screens is an issue for people of all ages, and young children should be joined by adults and teens in a move to limit screen time. It is good for people’s eyes to not stare at screens all day long, and avoiding blue light at night can help with sleep cycles. Parents should consider that content that is shown on TV can be detrimental to young children as well, which many people do not think about when they are exposing kids to television in the room.
Little kids remember more than parents might think. Even babies and toddlers who don’t have context for what they are seeing can still be impacted by things like violence being shown on TV. Even educational TV can deliver messages that parents might not want their kids to be absorbing. The influences in children’s lives need to be carefully controlled when they are very young. Parents should consider that even the sound from TV can impact the well-being of their child.
Limiting screen time for young children is almost always recommended by doctors, and parents will usually be told to try and limit screen time for older kids as well. The world is full of other activities to enjoy that can provide different benefits for children as well as adults.
Screen Time Can Be Bad for Young Kids
Screen time can be bad for everyone of all ages when it is excessive. Young children are most at risk of being harmed by staring at screens for too many hours each day. Babies, in particular, are at risk of being negatively impacted by contact with screens.
If you have a very young child in the home, providing them with other means of entertainment can be a good idea. Screen time is tempting for people of all ages, and we could all benefit from cutting back on our screen time exposure.
This article was last updated on September 12, 2023 .