While it is challenging to keep young children away from computers and television, too much screen time has a lot of harmful effects on children. During the first two years of life, a child’s brain and body experience important growth and development, and exposure to screen time detracts from important social interactions with care givers. With continued exposure, including the preschool years, excess screen time is associated with language delays, obesity, attention problems and even aggression, especially if the content is violent. Some children watch television before and after attending child care. Limiting or eliminating screen time in the early childhood setting can help families come closer to meeting the recommended goal of less than two hours of screen time daily. Reducing screen time gives more opportunities for physical activity and more time spent with books, classroom exploration and interactions with others.
*Screen time includes TV, videos, DVDs, computers, video games and handheld devices (e.g., smart phones and tablets).