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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Screen-time strategies

Rautaki wā mata

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Computers, smartphones and even TV and computer games, can be great resources to help your tamariki (children) learn new things, have exciting experiences and give you a break.

But it's important to set limits on screen time to allow more time for being active, playing creatively, socialising and possibly sleeping.

Recommended screen times per day are:




Recommended maximum screen time per day

Under 2 years

No screen time

2 to 5 years

One hour

Over 5 years

Two hours outside school

You can use screen time as a reward for good behaviour, but not in response to demanding or difficult behaviour.

Be involved in what your tamariki are watching, making sure you're deciding what they should watch, not them. Using the recommended age ratings for sites or games is a good start. Common Sense Media has some excellent advice for parents about this.

If you do not keep a close eye on what they're watching and how long they're watching it for, it's easy for your tamariki to watch material that is too mature for their years (and may be harmful).

Keep screens like gaming consoles, computers (including tablets), mobile phones and TVs out of their room. This means you can monitor their use more easily. Also, using screens before bedtime can make it harder for them to get to sleep.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2021.


Page reference: 220340

Review key: HIPPR-71581