As summer approaches, children may look forward to screen time that isn’t broken up by school or homework. The amount of summer screen time desired by children, though, can become a concern for parents.

So, what is the appropriate amount of screen time for children in the summer? And how can parents establish healthy limits? Help is on the way!

Healthy Summer Screen Time Limits

According to Gina Robinson, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic, two hours a day—broken up into increments of fifteen to twenty minutes—can be a good timeframe. Then, schedule other activities in between the screen time. 

Mayo Clinic shares recommendations broken down by age, including zero screen time for children under the age of two; one hour for those aged two to 12; and two hours daily for teenagers and adults. 

Issues With Too Much Screen Time

According to research, Dr. Robinson notes, screen time can overstimulate children with a potential long-term negative effect on their attention and imagination. Additional challenges include obesity, insufficient sleep, behavioral issues, language and social skill delays, and more. 

Tips for Reducing Summer Screen Time

First, parents can lead by example. Children really do watch their parents for behavioral cues, which includes how parents use screens and for how long. 

It’s also important to set reasonable expectations for your children’s screen time. If you’re reducing the allowable amount of screen time, be realistic as you set goals instead of jumping right to the recommended time limit. If you’ve previously allowed three hours of daily screen time and want to get to two or under, start by lowering it in fifteen minute increments until you reach your desired goal. 

Another piece of advice: Create device-free times in your home (such as during mealtimes or for exclusively playing outdoors) and put handheld devices away so they won’t be tempting to use. 

At the same time, encourage your children to spend time outdoors in the summer and engage with them outside yourself when possible. Playing outdoors can help your children improve their physical and mental health and go on to lead to better behavior and more engagement in learning. As a family, you can go for walks and bike rides in the neighborhood and in local parks. Have picnics in your backyard or in parks, set up engaging scavenger hunts, and otherwise enjoy the beautiful Northeast Ohio weather in the summertime.

Another way for your children to enjoy the summer is at a fun and engaging camp.

Did You Know Horizon Offers a Summer Camp?

Horizon’s Summer Camp is an excellent way for children to enjoy enriching summertime experiences, which helps you as a parent balance technology habits with healthy outdoor activities. 

When you sign up your child for summer camp, they’ll benefit from fun hand-on activities for active brains, healthy bodies, and happy faces. This includes STEM activities, summer reading, weekly field trips, and more. Don’t miss out on the learning and fun!

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