Recommended screen time limits
It’s recommended that kids younger than two years of age* shouldn’t spend any time watching television or using other electronic media (TV/DVDs, computer and other electronic games).
For children aged 2-5 years of age*, sitting and watching television, and using other electronic media (DVDs, computer and other electronic games) should be no more than one hour per day.
For children/young people aged 5-17 years**, limit sedentary recreational screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.
Ways you can limit screen time
It could be challenging limiting the kids’ screen time but these tips may help.
- Set family rules about the maximum time on screens per day and stick to it
- Try not to leave the TV on in the background – use music instead
- Designate certain days as screen-free days (this could be one or two days during the week when they have other after school activities)
- Encourage children to be selective about what they watch rather than just whatever happens to be on
- Have a "no screen" policy during meal times
- Avoid having screens in bedrooms or study/quiet areas
- You could use a timer or alarm clock to enforce the screen time you set
- Try not to spend lots of time in front of a screen, or let the kids see you spending lots of time in front of a screen
- Wherever possible, choose non-screen-based activities and entertainment
- If you’re an early childhood education and care service or school, develop a policy which identifies the amount of time children spend engaging in sedentary small screen activities
* Australian Government, Department of Health (2017) Australian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (Birth to 5 years)
** Australian Government, Department of Health (2019) Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Young People (5-17 years)