The AAP recommends that children over the age of two have no more than two hours a day of screen time. But some parents wonder if there are exceptions to this rule. Here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the rules.
I just had a baby and my toddler has been on a screen for approximately 80% of his waking hours. Does this screen time count?
Nope. You are allowed unlimited screen time for any existing kids for six months after a baby arrives. 1-2 years for multiples.
I’m on my iPhone, one kid is on an iPad, and the other is watching TV. Do all these screens cancel each other out?
No. Still counts.
My parenting partner is on a business trip and we use video chats for the kids to keep in touch. Does this count as screen time?
No, but if you are worried about it try a call from a rotary telephone. There shouldn’t be any screens on that.
My daughter is playing on her iPad outdoors. Does this count?
Yes, that is still screen time. She is supposed to interact with something in the outdoors. Maybe look for a bug or snowflake?
My toddler likes to press his face into the screen door for a while. Does that count?
No. Different kind of screen.
One of my kids is watching TV while I do something amazingly educational and hands on with the other kid.
This counts as 50% screen time.
My kid is sick and wants to watch Frozen over and over again. Does that count?
You can claim a sickness exemption. But try to slip some Sesame Street in there too.
When does my child outgrow the two-hour per day rule?
When they go to college. Don’t be surprised if they binge play video games for their entire first semester.
What am I supposed to do with this intricate log of screen time hours I have been keeping for my kids?
Just have your kids enter the info into an app on your phone. Don’t worry, that won’t count as screen time.