Question: Should young children have screen time limits? 


Answer: Yes. Boundaries and balance are important so that kids get sleep, play and time with their family. Whether that screen time duration goal is 2-3 hours/day on weekends or at Grandma’s house, and ~1 hour/day at home is up to your family to figure out and will vary based on what’s going on in your life.  

But the most important ingredients for young kids’ well-being are:  

  1. That the content is high-quality (in other words, worth their time and attention, not just trying to sell them things or have them zone out),  
  2. That they have opportunities to laugh, play, read, and move during the day, and  
  3. That they have caregivers who are trying to help them understand themselves and manage their emotions. 

Additional Resources 

  • See a previous portal response for more information on the health effects of young kids being on screens too long. 
  • Our recent portal response helps parents and caregivers begin to set limitations on tech time where there are none. 
  • recommends creating a Family Media Plan to facilitate discussion around safe and practical media use that works for a family’s specific needs:  
  • Common Sense Media provides guides on a multitude of websites and games that kids are on. Check out this link to find out all you need to know about Roblox. 
  • YouTube offers a Kids version called YouTube Kids that is a kid-targeted safe version of YouTube. It is designed for children preschool age to 12 years old. Here is a step-by-step guide that was created by Common Sense Media and the University of Michigan to help you better understand how YouTube works and how to help guide children to the best content on these platforms.  
  • Common Sense Media published this article titled “How Much Screen Time is OK for My Kids?” which emphasizes how quality of media use is more important than setting a screen time limit: 
  • Common Sense Media also provides guidance on assessing the quality of a child’s digital media use in “Are Some Types of Screen Time Better Than Others?”  



Age: Toddler, Pre-schooler, Elementary, 2-11 

Topics: Screen Time Limits  

Role: Parent/Caregiver 

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics