As many summer camps and programs cancel their usual plans in favor of caution due to the coronavirus outbreak, parents are finding themselves at a loss for options to keep kids busy. Additionally technology has made itself an invaluable tool during the pandemic, with things like school and birthday parties taking place online. These factors have contributed to the rise in screen time for children, but many parents are wondering how much screen time should be allowed for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s important to acknowledge that we’re living in unprecedented times, so the recommendations for screen time that previously guiding our best practices doesn’t hold the same weight as before. Work with your family to create a new screen time schedule to follow. If you work from home screen time could be scheduled for times you need to put more focus into your own tasks. Adults in the house should also follow this schedule in order to model healthy screen use for the kids. Keeping to the schedule helps create a solid routine that kids will begin to question less.

Screen time isn’t all negative. It can also act as a reward, or play a vital role in connecting children to grandparents and friends in video chat. However, technology should not be the only thing your child enjoys this summer. There are activities to enjoy in your own backyard all summer long, as well as engaging activities for children indoors. Demonstrating healthy screen usage and engaging with children will be the best way to prioritize your family’s wellness during this time.

Learn more about your child and their development by submitting a free and confidential Ages and Stages Questionnaire. The ASQ Developmental Screening can be requested at any time for children ages two months to five and a half years.