Tips for Setting Screen Time Limits

By Jami Haberl on Monday, February 26, 2018

DYK too much screen time can lead to unhealthy habits or weight gain?   

Screen Free ZoneLetting the kiddos watch a funny YouTube video or play a counting game on your smartphone is definitely a lifesaver when you’re trying to cook dinner, pay bills or just spend a few moments alone to decompress from a hectic day.  But it’s easy to go overboard and rely too much on electronic distraction. And too much screen time can lead to lower reading scores, attention problems and increased snacking!

To avoid some of these negative behaviors, below are tips and tricks to setting screen time limits:  

  • Set a basic rule, such as no TV or mobile games before homework or chores are done.
  • No TV during meals.
  • Use a timer - when the bell rings, it’s time to turn off the TV or quit the video game.
  • Keep books, art supplies, puzzles and board games in the living room or easily accessible to the kids.
  • Set family guidelines for age-appropriate shows.

If you do allow screen time, limit it to 2 hours per day on the computer, TV, video games, tablets and smartphones. Healthy screen time means:

  • No TV/computer in the room where the child sleeps
  • No TV/computer under the age of 2
  • One hour of educational TV/computer time between ages 2 and 5
  • After the age of 5, two hours or less per day

Striking the right balance to encourage healthy screen time habits is important for the whole family. Learn more about Iowa’s 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count program here