Screen-Free Week: Families unplug to enjoy life without technology

This week, families across the country are shutting down their iPads and signing out of Twitter in observance of “Screen-Free Week.” Screen-Free Week, presented by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, is a call for families to take a break from digital entertainment to spend time outside and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Screen time, especially for young children, has been in the spotlight in recent years. As the prevalence of digital devices in homes grows, children have more access to screens than ever before. In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued an updated set of guidelines to limit screen time to less than two hours per day for children over the age of two. The AAP discourages any screen time for children under age two.

Other than powering down during Screen-Free Week, what are parents doing limit screen time for their kids on a regular basis? We asked parents of young children age 1-5 about their kids’ exposure to screen time and their efforts to limit screen time.

Over half of parents said they limit the location where their children can have entertainment screen time. More than one quarter limit both the location and the amount of time their kids can spend on screens. But 13% set no limits on the amount of time or the location where kids can have entertainment screen time. Read the full report - Screening out screen time: Parents limit media use for young children.

Figure 1. Parents' Rules for Screen Time for Young Children

View full size image | See other infographics about children's health

For more information on entertainment screen time and how parents limit screen time at home, watch this short video with NPCH Director and pediatrician, Dr. Matt Davis:

What do you think?
Do you set limits on screen time for your kids? What do you do to have family screen-free time? Share your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter @MottNPCH.