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Screen Time Safety for Children

During COVID-19 your child is probably spending more time watching TV or playing games on the phone or other devices. While screen time for children under 2 years old is not recommended by experts, it’s not easy to keep young children busy all day, especially when parents are having to
juggle work with childcare, or are faced with emotional strain of financial and health uncertainties.

Screen time is a quick fix that makes both parent and child happy. If you need to use it more than usual, don’t worry about it, these are unusual times. Let’s look at some ways we can make sure our children get the most from screen time.

To ensure quality screen time:

  • Never let young children play games or watch things on a phone or device unsupervised.
  • Set a time limit for how long your child is allowed to have screen time. Try to limit it to one hour per day but don’t worry if you need to allow your child to watch more in these unusual times. Perhaps try to break it up into a few different slots in the day.
  • Make sure you know what the programs, games and apps are before allowing your child to view or play with them.
  • Try and find games that will be interactive for your child, rather than those that just require your child to stare at the screen.
  • Use parental controls to block or filter internet content that isn’t appropriate. These can be found for free on the internet.
  • Remember that unstructured, free playtime is more valuable for a young child’s developing brain than is screen time. Children should always spend more time playing than on a screen.
  • Check out more of our Parenting in the Pandemic resources at for more information on how you can help your children and teenagers to use the internet safely.

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