The effects of too much screen time and how to reduce adverse effects on children's health

Too much TV, computer, phone and game time can have plenty of negative effects for kids.

Minimizing screen time can help reduce adverse effects on children's health.

What counts as screen time?

Any sedentary activity in front of a screen counts, and multiple types of screen time can add up to 7 hours daily, not counting time spent at school or for homework:

  • Watching television
  • Working/playing on a computer
  • Playing video games
  • Using a smartphone or tablet

Too much screen time is becoming an epidemic:

Screen time has been linked with a number of negative effects on children

Childhood obesity

Lack of sleep

Problems in school

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.
  • 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.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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