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How Much Screen Time Should Your Child Have?

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It’s no secret that we are all very dependent on our screens. Not only are they used daily for work and school, but we also use them for social connections and recreation. 

Below is a summary of screen time guidelines that we encourage you to follow:

Children Under 2 Years OldNo screen time. Too much affects language development and increases likelihood of childhood obesity
Children Between 2-5 years OldMaximum 1 hour of screen time per day. Too much is associated with less play, reduced social skills, slower language development and increased risk of obesity
Children Between 5-17 years Old2 hours of recreational screen time daily. Since children use screens more for their education, it’s important to try and limit their recreational screen time.

t’s not necessarily the exposure to screen time that can affect your visual development, but instead how closely it’s held and how long it’s being used for.

Some tips for healthy digital screen time

  1. Take frequent breaks from reading – the 20/20 rule (every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds)
  2. Don’t hold reading material or screens too close – the elbow rule (keep forearm distance between eye and book)
  3. Try to limit leisure screen time to 2 hours per day in school aged children – the 2 hour rule (less than 2 hours screen time after school and don’t sit for too long)
  4. At least 90 minutes a day outdoors with sun exposure, and 60 minutes of physical activity per day

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s digital screen time speak to one of our Stoney Creek optometrists. Book your appointment today, call 289-309-1090


1. (2021). [online] Available at:

Written by Dr. Casthoory Viswanathan

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