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Digital Media

Digital Media: Promoting healthy screen use in school-aged children and adolescents is a Canadian Paediatric Society position statement that reviews the evidence for the cognitive, psychosocial and physical effects of digital media on school-aged children and adolescents. 


MANAGE screen use through plans, rules, and limits


  • Make a family media plan that includes time and content limits

  •  for each family member.

  • Be present and engaged when children and youth are using screens.

  • Whenever possible, watch together and talk about content.

  • Discourage media multitasking, especially during homework.

  • Follow your child or teen’s social media profiles.

  • Speak to your children regularly about acceptable and unacceptable online behaviours.



Encourage MEANINGFUL screen use, so that time online serves as a purpose


  • Ensure daily routine comes first: face-to-face interactions, sleep, physical activity, mealtimes.

  • Choose screen activities with active, social or educational uses.

  • Help children and youth to recognize and choose content appropriate to their age and stage.

  • Play video games withyour kids. Ask about their experiences and encounters online. 



MODEL healthy screen use, because your kids are watching you


  • Review your own media habits and be sure there is time for hobbies and outdoor activities.

  • Never text or use hand-held devices while driving.

  • Have daily “screen-free” times for the whole family, especially during meals.

  • Turn off screens not in use, including background TV. 

  • Keep screens out of bedrooms.


MONITOR for signs of problematic screen use


  • Seek help from your child’s doctor if you’re concerned.


How much is TOO much?


Some signs of problematic screen use at any age include:


  • Complaining about being bored or unhappy without access to technology.

  • Oppositional behaviour in response to screen time limits.

  • Screen use interfering with sleep, school or face-to-face interactions.

  • Screen time interfering with offline play, physical activities or socializing.

  • Negative emotions following screen use.


If these signs are persistent or interfere with family life, ask your child’s doctor for help.


More information for parents is available at




Canadian Paediatric Society 

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