A parent recently brought her son in for his first eye exam at the age of 2 and she asked me if getting him tablet for Christmas is a bad idea. I’m sure many parents are wondering what is recommended in terms of the use of handheld devices in children as they think of what to put under their Christmas tree this year…
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics have the following guidelines:
-Infants aged 0-2 years old should have no exposure to handheld devices/computers
-Children 3-5 years old should be restricted to 1 hour/day (I recommend breaking this up into short segments throughout the day)
-Children/teens 6-18 years old should be restricted to 2 hours/day
Today, children and youth are exceeding these guidelines by 4-5 times. If you think it will be hard to keep your child from keeping to these guidelines while playing with their new Christmas toys, it may be wise to think twice before purchasing that handheld device.