2 Hours or Less of Recreational Screen Time

Screen time goal

Aim to have the whole family limit screen time to two hours or less every day. The health benefits of doing so are as plentiful as the stations that flood the airwaves. Television, the Internet, tablets, video games and electronic gadgets can be powerful, helpful tools for the media-savvy. However, unchecked screen time can do great harm, particularly to the young.

Did you know?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends:

  • No television for children under age two
  • Less than two hours of daily screen time for children two years of age and older
  • Keep TV and screen devices out of bedrooms

Many studies show direct links between media consumption and:

  • Obesity
  • Poor school performance
  • Poor athletic performance
  • Increased risk of adult chronic diseases

Tips from the Henry Ford LiveWell to tame screen time

  • Placing the television in a common room makes watching TV a family activity. Be selective about programming; seek out the best content.
  • Discuss the shows you watch. Quiz your kids and express your views.
  • Turn off the TV during meals. Distracted eating can mean over-eating. Encourage conversation. 
  • It's never too late to establish ground rules. Set limits on screen time. See what works for your family. It could be no TV on school nights; or putting off TV and computer play until homework and chores are done.
  • You could also use a timer, turning off the TV when the buzzer sounds.
  • Get a parental filter for your computer -- free ones are available. Choose a family-friendly Internet service provider.
  • Keep books, magazines, newspapers, board games and playing cards in the family room. Feed your family (and yourself!) intellectually.
  • Empower children by having them list fun alternatives to screen time, and enjoy those activities as a family.  Kids will grow from the experience, and get a taste of independence. Families that play together stay together!

Family fun activities

Inside Outside In Your Community
Have a family game night
Read a book
Play ‘hide the music’ with your iPod
Do a scavenger hunt
Take a walk
Ride a bike
Go to a park
Hula hoop
Play basketball
Go for a walk at the mall
Go to a museum
Go to a farmer’s market
Take the next step
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