Changes to Zero Policy Screen Time for Children Under Two

Author: one tough job

After review of the recent research and evidence on the effects of screen time for children under 3, Zero to Three, the leading national infant and toddler development organization, released a set of guidelines for parents called Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight-Research based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old. This report recommends a balanced approach to screen time for children under three.

It turns out there is a difference between passive screen time such as watching a movie and active screen time such as communicating with a loved one via Skype or playing an interactive game. While passive screen time has very little educational value, active screen time can be a small part of a young child’s daily interaction. Parents everywhere can now breathe a collective (small) sigh of relief.

Of course, active screen time should not take the place of activities and games that should happen in the “3-D” world of a young child. However, parents can relax a little and not worry so much that a younger child is getting some exposure via an older sibling or while in the waiting room of the pediatricians office.

For all children, remember the three C’s: the content, the context and the child. This means being choosy about the types of content you let your child see, being alert to how their usage may be effecting other interests or activities such as playtime and considering each child’s unique sets of needs.

For more information on this article and changes to the American Academy of Pediatrics screen time recommendations for children under two, please check out this article from

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