Television and other media use (such as playing video games and spending non-school-related time on computers, tablets, and smartphones) can be a source of learning and entertainment. But too much screen time can take away from other activities, such as sleeping, exercising, playing with friends, and doing homework. Studies have shown that kids who watch too much TV are more likely to be overweight — and, depending on the content of what they see, more aggressive. Excess TV viewing also has been linked to poor grades, sleep problems, and behavior problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends these guidelines for screen time: Babies and toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time, with the exception of video-chatting with family and friends. Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver. Preschoolers: No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they're seeing. Kids and teens 5 to 18 years: Parents should place consistent limits on screen time, which includes TV, social media, and video games. Media should not take the place of getting enough sleep and being physically active. Back to Articles Related Articles How Media Use Affects Your Child Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, but it's important for parents to track their kids' screen time and set limits. Read More Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games, and the Internet TV, interactive video games, and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment, but too much plugged-in time can have unhealthy side effects. Read More Kids and Exercise Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges. Read More Are Video Games Bad for Me? You love your video games, but how much is too much? Find out in this article for kids. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Babies and Toddlers Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your baby or toddler? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Preschoolers Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your preschooler? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Big Kids Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your big kid? Get advice here. Read More Screen Time Guidelines for Teens Not sure how much screen time is appropriate for your teen? Get advice here. Read More School Violence and the News As terrible and frightening as incidents of school violence are, they are rare. But it's natural for kids to worry. Here's how to help them deal with these fears. Read More How to Talk to Your Child About the News News reports are often educational. But when stories are about violence or other disturbing topics, parents can find it hard to explain to kids. Here are some guidelines. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.