The American Academy of Pediatricians is offering some guilt relief for parents who let their little ones watch TV or play on their mobile device.
According to the new guidelines, which take into consideration the prevalence of mobile devices in everyday life, screen time for kids 18 months and younger should be limited to video chats. At 18 months, it's OK for parents to introduce high-quality media programming, the guidelines say.
Screen time should be limited to an hour for children 2 to 5 years and parents should co-view media with their kids to help them understand what they're seeing and apply it to the real world, AAP says.
It also recommends families create a media plan to figure out what to watch and use, how much time should be spent interacting with media, and when to have some screen-free time.
"What's most important is that parents be their child's 'media mentor,'" said Jenny Radesky, lead author of the new policy statement. "That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn."