How much screen time is too much for toddlers?

February 12, 2019 - 3:30 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If you have children between the ages of 2 and 5, the odds are pretty high that they are spending a lot of time watching TV or interacting with computer games on big monitors. 

Is this having a positive or negative impact on their learning? It appears to be a mixture of both. 

On the positive side, there are many learning tools available with these games and they can be advantageous. Educational games can help teach, and certainly those that are not educational can be just plain fun. 

But the key is how much time is spent playing games.  

A report from the University of Calgary and the American Academy of Pediatrics found time on screens should be limited to one hour or less per day for all children in the first two years of life. Between ages 2 and 5, it should be limited to at most two hours.

Personal interaction and communication cannot be under valued. During formative years, it is important to have real time with real people.