Screens

Recommended
by the Canadian
Paediatric
SocietyAccording to the Canadian Paediatric Society, screen time for children younger than 2 years is not recommended. The Society also recommends turning off all screens (TV included) when spending time together as a family, and to avoid leaving the TV on in the background.

Your child learns about the world by interacting with the people around him. His skills development (e.g., motor skills, language) and his ability to relate to others depend on his interactions with his parents, friends and family (see Stages of growth).

Talking to your child, telling him stories and interacting through games are the best ways to help him develop. Learning will be more rewarding if there are no distractions from your phone or from a screen in the room. Your child needs your attention—and your gaze.

Understanding what’s on the screen

Essential information to rememberTry to cut back on your screen time when you’re with your kids, and make a habit of shutting off screens at home when they are not in use. Remember—you’re the best models for your children.

Children under 2 years of age are attracted by the sounds and colours on screens and electronic devices. But that doesn’t mean they understand what they see.

What’s more, it is difficult for children under the age of 2 to reproduce the actions they see on screen. For example, your child will learn better by building a block tower on his own instead of watching another child do it on screen.

Children under 2 get no benefits from screen time, whether with a tablet, television, smart phone, or e-book. Screens with an educational function are also discouraged at this age.

Communicating via screen

However, applications like Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp can be used to stay in touch with loved ones who are far away. During the chat, help your child interact with the person on the screen to ensure he has a positive experience with this method of communication.