Minimize screen time to help reduce adverse effects on children's health.
What counts as screen time? footnote 1
Sedentary activity in front of a screen, such as:
- Watching television
- Working on a computer
- Playing video games
- Using a smartphone or tablet
Too much screen time is becoming an epidemic:
Nearly one-third of 12 to 15-year-olds watch TV and use the computer for at least 2 hours every day. footnote 2
6.9% spend more than 5 hours with screens daily. footnote 3
Multiple types of screen time can add up to 5-7 hours daily. footnote 4
That's up 2.5 hours over the last decade, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. footnote 5
Screen time has been linked with:
- Childhood obesity
- Commercials can promote unhealthy eating choices. footnote 6
- Kids eat 167 additional calories per hour of television watched. footnote 7
- For kindergartners , more than one hour of TV each day means they're: footnote 8
- 52% more likely to be overweight than kids who watch less.
- 72% more likely to be obese than kids who watch less.
- Lack of sleep
- Problems in school
- 4 hours of daily screen time is linked to a FULL-GRADE-LEVEL DROP IN AVERAGE GPA . footnote 12
- Physical consequences
- Pain in fingers, wrists, neck, and back.
- Narrowed eye blood vessels
How can you help fix the problem?
Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' guidelines for screen time:
- Age 2 and under:
None - toddlers learn best by interacting with people, not screens.
- Young children and teens:
1-2 hours per day of high-quality content. footnote 13
- Keep TVs and computers outside the bedroom.
- Restrict computer time during homework and TV time during meals.
- Use limited screen time as a reward for being active or reading a book.
- Set a smartphone curfew.
- Decrease your own screen time to set an example.
- 1 National Institutes of Health; U.S. National Library of Medicine; MedLine Plus Medical Encyclopedia,
"Screen time and children"
- 2 National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, No. 157, July 2014: TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12-15, 2012
- 3 National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief
- 4 National Institutes of Health
- 5 The Dallas Morning News, "Too much screen time is harmful for children; what can parents do?"
- 6 National Institutes of Health
- 7 The Dallas Morning News
- 8 Los Angeles Times, "Study Makes Surprising Link Between TV Time and Childhood Obesity"
- 9 The American Journal of Family Therapy, "Examining the Interface of Family and Personal Traits, Media, and Academic Imperatives Using the Learning Habit Study" ; taken from: "The Screen Time Rules You Should Really Enforce This Year"
- 10 The New York Times, "Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children"
- 11 The Dallas Morning News
- 12 The American Journal of Family Therapy
- 13 American Academy of Pediatrics, "Media and Children"
State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.