Here’s the screen time recommended by science for your children!

Verified on 05/12/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor
Voici le temps d'écran recommandé par la science pour vos enfants !

A study published by Santé Publique France reveals that the amount of time children aged 2 to 5 are exposed to screens exceeds scientific recommendations, impacting their cognitive development. Find out more!

Television, computer, smartphone, tablet… Young children are spending more and more time in front of screens. Far too much, according to a study published by Santé publique France in April 2023.

Carried out among 18,000 children born in 2011, this ELFE (Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l’Enfance) study is the first in France to have observed « the evolution of screen time among children between the ages of 2 and 5 and a half in the country » over a period from 2013 to 2017.

According to the results, the average daily screen time is :

  • for a 2-year-old: 56 minutes
  • for a child aged 3 and a half: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • for a child aged 5 and a half: 1 hour and 34 minutes

For children aged 5 and a half, average daily exposure to screens includes :

  • 1 hour of television
  • 17 minutes on the tablet
  • 7 minutes of console video games
  • 6 minutes of smartphone
  • 5 minutes on the computer

Screen time far exceeds WHO recommendations for young children

This exposure time far exceeds the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations of a maximum of one hour a day for children aged 2 to 5. It also advises against exposing children under 2 to screens.

The WHO recommends that young children do not exceed this screen exposure time, because it is not without danger to their health.

It would indeed have an impact on their cognitive development, as Jonathan Bernard, lead author of the study and Inserm researcher at the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Statistics, points out. He hopes that this research will provide a better response to this major societal challenge.

« The point of this descriptive work is to enable those working in the field of prevention to gain a better understanding of the social dynamics at work, and thus help them to better target populations at risk of excessive screen use », he asserts.