Answers to Common Children’s Health Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about pediatric health.

What steps can a caregiver take to reduce the amount of screen time their child has each day?

Dr. Allen discusses how to reduce a child’s screen time. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.


Many children in the U.S. spend about five to seven hours in front of all types of screens, including about three hours watching TV, and the rest playing on computers or video games, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

It is recommended that children under 2 have no screen time and children 2 and older have no more than two hours of screen time per day, according to the NIH. More screen time than that can cause health problems, including anxiety, sleep trouble and obesity.

The NIH recommends the following steps to help cut down on your child’s screen time:

  • Be a good role model. Decrease your screen time also to only two hours a day
  • Decide which shows you will watch in advance, and turn the TV off when those are done
  • Do not leave the TV on just for background noise. Choose the radio instead if you must have noise
  • Keep track of the time you spend in front of the TV and have a goal of spending the same amount of time being active
  • Many TVs have a sleep function that will turn the TV off automatically when you set it. Use that to make sure you stick with your plan
  • No snacks during computer or tablet time
  • Plan a family challenge to go a whole day or week without watching TV or doing other screen activities, and find other things to do together instead
  • Plan other indoor activities, such as board games, puzzles, crafts or blocks
  • Plan outdoor activities, such as walks, biking, going to a park, or playing with a ball
  • Remove the TV from a child’s bedroom
  • Turn off the TV at homework time
  • Turn off the TV during meals and snacks

Making choices to do things that don’t involve screen time can help your whole family – especially your children – live a healthier lifestyle and be more active.

For more ideas about how to cut down screen time, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Christopher Aviles, MD, Beavercreek Family Physicians; Tracie Bolden, MD, Fairfield Road Physician Offices; Michael Chunn, MD, Michael A. Chunn, MD Family Practice; Christopher Lauricella D.O, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Melinda Ruff, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Paul Weber, MD, The Pediatric Group; Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Michael Barrow, MD, Samaritan North Family Physicians; Aleda Johnson, MD, Liberty Family Medicine; Lisa Wright, MSN, NP-C, Ann DeClue, MD; Mark Casdorph, DO, Upper Valley Outpatient Behavioral Health

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