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Healthy Screen Use for Young Children

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - What it is

Impacts of Excessive Screen Use

Research has shown that excessive screen use, including background screen exposure, can lead to ‘overstimulation’ of your child, or sensory overload. This can lead to poor focus and attention span, decreased energy, and challenging/difficult behaviour.


In children <5 years old, studies have shown that>2 hours of screen time/day is associated with 7.7x chance of being diagnosed with attention disorders (e.g. ADHD).

Excessive screen time at a young age has shown to impair social and cognitive development, due to:
  • Less exposure to social cues
  • Language delays and poorer language acquisition
Myopia can be aggravated by higher screen use. Take these steps against it!

Check for signs of myopia, such as:
  • SquintingHolding
  • screens/books very close to the face

The prevalence of childhood myopia (short sightedness) in Singapore is among the highest in the world. 65% of our children are myopic by Primary 6.

Recommendations for Healthy Screen Usage

Not all screen time is bad!
In the digital age, almost all learning and social interaction involves a screen. The key lies in achieving balance! Below are some tips on how to ensure healthy screen usage.


Screen time can be described as the number of hours per day spent viewing TV/video, computer, electronic games, handheld devices or other visual devices.

Screen use in modern times
In the age of home-based learning, screens are pervasive in our childrens’ lives. Screen use expectations need to be calibrated to account for this. Our recommendations are focused on control of recreational screen time outside the classroom.

Future considerations
While this leaflet provides recommendations for screen use in children up to age 6, it is important to continue to ensure proper oversight of screen use as your child enters primary school.

For example, limit recreational screen time to <2 hours per day.

Suggestions & Alternatives

Agree within the family and other caregivers what your child's maximum daily screen time should be and stick to it.

Explain to your child about your screen time limit and what consequences there would be if the limit is exceeded.

Expose your child to a variety of activities, both digital and non-digital (e.g. board games, arts & craft).

Play cooperative games with your child to teach teamwork skills, while also having some fun familybonding time.

Where possible, watch videos/shows with your child and discuss lessons learnt.

Set a good example amongst the adults in the household. Limit your own screen time, especially when interacting with your child. Avoid watching or playing violent and other inappropriate content while children are present.

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Symptoms

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - How to prevent?

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Causes and Risk Factors

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Diagnosis

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Treatments

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Preparing for surgery

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Post-surgery care

Healthy Screen Use for Young Children - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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