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Screen time refers to any time that our kids spend looking at a screen. This could be playing games on a tablet or computer, watching television or playing on a mobile phone. Spending time on screens becomes part of the normal routine of kids when they start school.  

Some screen time can have great benefits for our kids' learning, but too much time spent looking at a screen can impact growth and development. Screen time should not reduce time spent sleeping or time spent being physically active. Screen time should not replace activities such as reading, drawing and social time with family and friends, as these are essential for the child's full development.

How much screen time is too much? 

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Tips to manage screen time 

  • Eat together as a family without screens 

  • Keep screens out of the bedroom 

  • Take toys or books instead of a screen when going out 

  • Set time limits for screen time 

  • Stop using screens at least 1 hour before bed 

  • Be a good role model - reduce your screen time too  

  • Swap screens for quality time as a family (go for a walk, play card games or board games) 

  • Cook or garden together to develop life skills 

   

When using screens, choose programs and apps that: 

  • Encourage movement, such as dance or yoga 

  • Encourage creativity, such as drawing or making video clips, animations or comics 

  • Require problem solving 

  • Support communication skills, such as language skills 

  • Help develop social skills 

  • Promote positive messages about relationships, family and life – avoid those that display violence and bad attitudes 

  • Encourage kids to take up new activities away from the screen 

  • Are age appropriate 

See Australia’s 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for more information 

Related Pages 

Sleep for Kids 

How much physical activity is enough? 

Family time with kids 

Articles

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