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Today The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released several new rules regarding children and media usage. These “rules” are put into place in order to limit how media influences a child’s developmental process.

Originally, the AAP released a study stating “no screens for children under 2” due to the influence media had on early developmental processes in children. However, today they have founded new findings regarding children and media usage. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:


Children Younger Than 18 Months

  • ·      Avoid using screens unless it’s for video chatting

o   Examples include Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and other video-chatting programs.


Children 18 – 24 Months

  • ·      Introducing digital media to children this early should be “high-quality programs” (educational.)

o   Examples include Sesame Street and PBS

  • ·      Watch shows with children to help them understand what they are watching


Children 2 – 5 Years

  • ·      Limit television to 1 hour and make sure they are “high-quality programs.”
  • ·      Continue “co-watching” media with children in order to help them comprehend the program.


Children 6 and Older


  • ·      Consistently limit your child(ren)’s media usage. Make sure there is a healthy balance of school, sleep, and media.
  • ·      Designate “media-free” zones in your house as well as “media-free” time.

o   Examples include no cellphones during dinner or driving

  • ·      Communicate about cyber safety and presence. 


Overall, the AAP recommends using the Family Media Use plan in order to ensure children are using and interacting with media effectively without hindering developmental processes. We live in a world where media is everywhere it's impossible to avoid. Just be aware of the implications media has on your children and their development.