U.S. Doctors Issue New Guidelines for Kids and TV and Other Electronics

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today issued new guidelines for parents that are meant to give guidance on best practices on how kids and teens use electronics and media in the home and outside. The guidelines are extremely unrealistic in our view but they’re not easy to find online so we thought we’d summarize here.

According to the report and research cited (1), the average American 8 – 10 year old spends nearly 8 hours per day consuming some form of media, and the number is greater than 11 hours per day for teens. Those numbers seem high but were the ones quoted.

Specific limits recommended by the AAP (excluding homework):

  • Limit entertainment related screen time to 2 hours per day
  • No screen time for kids under 2
  • No TVs, computers or cell phones in bedrooms
  • Monitor all TV shows watched and websites visited
  • Curfew for all devices that corresponds with mean and bed times

While we are strong proponents of establishing limits and fostering positive internet and cell phone use, if your teen is currently looking at a screen 5 hours a day, good luck shrinking that time down to 2 hours. It feels like the AAP is sorely out of touch with what is really going on.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.

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(1) Rideout, V: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 – 18 Year Olds, Kaiser Family Foundation

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