'Screen time' is the time spent using a screen-based device, such as a smartphon, tablet, computer, or television. Screens can be used for educational or work purposes, and also for recreational purposes. Many Canadian children participate in high levels of screen use, which impacts their health.
How screen time impacts children's health:
- Early development: Higher screen use in the early years is linked to poor brain development, language development and attention skills.
- Physical health: Higher screen use is linked to lower levels of physical fitness, unhealthy weights, and higher risks of cardio-metabolic disease.
- Psychosocial health: Higher screen use is linked to behavioural issues, lower self-esteem, and lower psychological well-being.
Screen Time Limit Recommendations
Canadian health experts recommend limiting children's exposure to screens. The recommended limits are:
Infant (0-2 years): 0 hours of screen time per day
Pre-School (2–4 years): 1 hour of screen time per day
School-Age & Adolescents (5–17 years): 2 hours of screen time per day