Children Across the Globe Are Exceeding Screen-Time Limits

Medscape Staff

February 16, 2022

Children are steadily increasing their screen time, and even those under the age of 2 are now exceeding their recommended amount of time, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by a team of researchers led by the University of Calgary in Canada.

What to know:

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, children aged 5 years and younger used screens for an average of approximately 25% of their waking hours.

  • New studies show that 3 out of 4 children under the age of 2 are now exceeding recommended screentime limitations.

  • Guidelines laid down by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and several pediatric societies worldwide recommend completely avoiding screen time for children younger than 2 years (outside of video chatting).

  • High levels of screen use by young children can be associated with negative consequences for their development.

  • Children 5 years and younger are the fastest-growing users of digital media (content transmitted over tablets, television, etc).

  • It is first meta-analysis to date that has examined the prevalence of children aged 5 years or younger meeting screen time guidelines.

This is a summary of the article "Global Prevalence of Meeting Screen Time Guidelines Among Children 5 Years and Younger," published by JAMA on February 14, 2022. The full article can be found on

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