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Safe time for technology use

  • 1.  Safe time for technology use

    Posted 06-25-2019 07:02 PM
    I have question that really concerning my child
    What is the safest time to use technology for my child?
    I have 3 months old child and most of children surrounded him with technology devices. I am really scared from the effect of using TV, iPhone, iPad, games .......
    Any body can guide me on this topic?

    Riyadh Alabbas
    Rochester MN

  • 2.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 06-27-2019 07:43 AM
    Hi! This is a great question, especially since we are increasingly surrounded by media and technology, and some trusted toy companies have even integrated phone and tablets into their baby toys!  I am a pediatric physical therapist and an adjunct professor teaching Neurological Development in a graduate program in Early Childhood Education and we talk about these guidelines in my class:

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for media use for children.  This website might help:

    They include:
    Children under 2 should limit technology use to video chatting (for example facetiming grandma in another state or country), so that they are viewing faces only.
    Over 18 months, limit screen time and never allow solo screen time - an adult should choose quality programming and view it together with a child and talk about the subject matter with the child.
    From 2-5 years old, children should be limited to no more than 1 hour of screen time a day, and again an adult should check the quality of programming and view programming together with a child.

    Why?  Overuse of screen time can affect children's exploration of the physical world, toys, and interactions with other people that are needed to develop movement skills, speech and communication and the cognitive knowledge about how the physical world works! Kids need to be moving, talking and exploring.
    As a physical therapist, my colleagues in PT and occupational therapy are seeing an increase in children who need services because of the decreased amount of time spent moving around and developing gross motor and fine motor skills.
    Also, the American Academy of Opthamology recommends that all screen users should take a break every 20 minutes, to look at something 20' away, for 20 seconds to avoid eye strain (the 20-20-20 rule).

    As the mom of 3 children under 7,I have experienced that sometimes it is not easy to limit technology - other parents are providing tech time, your own children see that, and the reality is technology can be addictive (for us adults too!).  My advice as a parent is to not worry about what other people are doing, keep a bag of age appropriate baby toys with your to occupy your baby on the go, read real books to your baby as much as possible, and as your baby gets older have a go bag of blocks, books, coloring activites, etc ready to go for waiting rooms, stores and such.  At home provide opportunities for movement and back and forth speech interaction with your baby.  Good luck! 3 months is a fun time for babies as they really start to wake up and check out their world!

    Dr. Nicole Schiffmacher, PT, DPT, MS
    Board Certfiied Pediatric Clinical Specialist, Physical Therapist
    Lecturer: Infant/Toddler Master's in Special Education Program
    St. Joseph's College, Long Island

  • 3.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 06-27-2019 08:56 AM
    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that any use of screen devices should be very limited for children under two, except perhaps for communications like Skype and Face Time.

    John Surr
    Peace Educators Interest Forum
    Charlottesvle VA

  • 4.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 06-28-2019 09:45 AM
    There's also a growing problem with adults (both parents and caregivers) who pay more attention to their phones and tablets than the infants and toddlers in their care.  The first 18 months of life is the best window of opportunity for the growth of the part of the brain that regulates emotions, creating lifelong attitudes about social relationships and a secure foundation for exploring life, etc.  For this growth the baby needs frequent and uninterrupted experiences where the whole baby and the whole caregiver can playfully engage with each other and attune their emotions.  Screens get in the way.

    John Surr
    Peace Educators Interest Forum
    Charlottesvle VA

  • 5.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 06-30-2019 02:06 AM
    NAEYC has a position statement on Technology and Interactive Media you can view here

    When the Position Statement turned 5 years old, NAEYC published Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Programs: What We've Learned from Five Years of Research, Policy and Practice

    While sharing concerns others have mentioned in their replies, think it is very important to have discussions about how and why we should become media mentors. The Fred Rogers Center blog shared some thought provoking posts, Helping Young Children Develop A Healthy Media Diet and Why Counting Screen Time Minutes Isn't an Education Strategy.

     A recent guide for parents Living and Learning Well in the Digital Age includes "tips for providing healthy and balanced media MEALS"  that address some of these points - "Model, Engage, Adjust, Limit.: Would be interested to hear what others think about this publication, and other resources for families on this topic that you have found useful...

    Bonnie Blagojevic
    Morningtown Consulting
    Orono ME

  • 6.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 07-01-2019 08:40 AM
    Congratulations on the new baby! It's a great time to think about how screens will be integrated into your family's life and how to model the types of technology use you hope that your child will ultimately adopt. Following up on the resources that Bonnie Blagojevic offered, all of which are based on "intentional" use of media tech, you might want to ask:
    Why am I asking only about safety in relationship to screens? What other questions about screens might be important?
    Even if I never put a screen directly in front of my child (or, as they are able to grasp objects, into their hands), where else in their home or environment are they seeing/learning about screens?
    How does my own use of screens affect my interactions with my child?

    If you want to do some reading that might help you envision the questions that will arise as your child grows, there are several recent books that mostly focus on older kids, but that can spark our thinking about the foundations and habits we want to establish in the earliest years. You might want to take a look at:
    Anya Kamentz's The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life
    Diana Graber's Raising Humans in a Digital World
    Devorah Heitner's Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World
    Jordan Shapiro's The New Childhood
    Lisa Guernsey's Screen Time: How Electronic Media - From Baby Videos to Educational Software - Affects Your Young Child

    Each of these authors offers a slightly different perspective, though all would probably agree with Kamentz's ultimate conclusion: "Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together."

    Faith Rogow
    Media Literacy Education Maven
    Insighters Education
    Ithaca NY

  • 7.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 07-05-2019 02:56 PM
    I struggle with this same question, although from a different angle.  I'm a full-time preschool music teacher, and parents often ask for support with repertoire their children are learning at school.  The kiddos come home singing some song and parents and other caregivers want to join in, but might not know the words or tune or both.  Since my job is really to get EVERYONE singing, it makes sense for me to provide recordings when I can and to make them as easily accessible as possible.

    My first solution involved singing into a parent's phone (easy but not efficient), then posting on our electronic communication system (efficient but not easy for anyone), and finally I went looking on YouTube to see if the resource was already available.  What I found was, to put it mildly, not great.  The videos are animated, flashy, poorly sung, falsely chipper, and on and on.  What I thought would be the easiest to come by version- a person just singing into the camera and presenting a good vocal model- wasn't available.

    So, about two months ago, I started my own YouTube channel, "Songs from the Sandbox," to offer parents a straightforward and (hopefully) quality option.  It's been a great project for me and I'm enjoying the work, BUT, (and here's where I finally get around to the subject of your question), I admit that I struggle with the fact that I'm creating videos for children when kids and screens are a problematic combination.

    I'm continuing the project because I'm hoping that the lack of camerawork and advertising, and the "just sing" ethos of the channel creates an experience as similar as possible to having children sing with me in my classroom everyday, and because I have to believe it's better than what is currently on offer.  I'm guess time will tell.

    After all that, if you'd like to check it out, you can go to

    Best wishes,

    Kate Offer
    Music and Movement Specialist
    Pacific Primary School
    Oakland CA

  • 8.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 07-06-2019 08:36 AM
    Your You Tube clips are lovely and helpful, including the nice explanations of songs, instruments, etc.  As someone who has sung "Twinkle Twinkle" in multiple languages with children for years, including Mandarin, the Mandarin songs were a treat.  It's difficult to get the pronunciations correct when you don't speak the language.  And children love singing different versions.  I had to laugh at your objection to "falsely chipper" music videos for children, also one of my pet peeves.  I much prefer your authenticity and I'm sure parents and children do too.

    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA

  • 9.  RE: Safe time for technology use

    Posted 07-25-2019 06:24 AM
    Kate, as we know family engagement and literacy experiences are so valuable, your rationale to use video recordings to share songs to increase access to these musical experiences/so families can sing together, seems like an effective way to "get EVERYONE singing."

    When considering your concern- "kids and screens are a problematic combination", something @Faith Rogow said in previous discussions comes to mind ""… our job isn't to prepare children for our past. It's to get them ready for their future." Technology is just a tool, and how we use it with children is what determines if it is beneficial or not. (Awhile ago,discovered the King County Library website has many songs and fingerplays in case it is of use/interest for others interested in providing additional resources like this for families.)

    The article Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Programs: What We've Learned from Five Years of Research, Policy, and Practice  considers position statements (including AAP), reports, research reviews, guidelines, and recommendations released between 2012 and 2017 and lists consensus points, including:
    • "Relationships-A child's use of media and technology should invite and enhance interactions and strengthen relationships with peers, siblings, and parents."
    • "Coviewing and active parent engagement-Using media together improves learning. Talking about what the child is seeing and doing, and connecting what is on the screen with real-life experiences, builds language skills and vocabulary, encourages interactions, and strengthens relationships."

    Bonnie Blagojevic
    Morningtown Consulting
    Orono ME