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Expert Advice

43 month old: Striking a healthy screen-time balance with your three-year-old

How much really is too much?

By Now to Love Staff
Experts recommend a maximum of 30 minutes screen time a day for under-twos (some say zero time), and just one hour for three- to five-year-olds - so how are your kid's habits measuring up?
Throw together an episode of Playschool, an iPad game and their morning dose of Sesame Street and you're almost guaranteed to clock that up and more. So will TV rot your tot's brain?
The right kind of TV, well managed, is not necessarily going to be detrimental to your child's development - in fact, there can be benefits if you guide them to watch wisely.
While many studies suggest a link between too much early TV-watching and behavioural and developmental problems, most of this research was done on kids who watched endless cartoons rather than a few ABC Kids shows.
xx Image: Getty.
The preschool age makes it particularly tough to impose screen limits as they're now seeking high-energy stimulation and chances are another bub has now come along, so you won't have as much time and energy for that one-on-one quality play.
The temptation (and reality!) is that you may find yourself letting your twirling toddler have more screen time than you'd like, just to get some peace and quiet and help them chill for a while. This is fine if you strike a healthy screen-time balance.
WATCH: This adorable toddler's haka is winning hearts all over the world. Continues after video ...
So what's the harm? At this age, children believe what they see on the screen, so ensure they aren't watching any make-believe shows that are going to lead to fears or anxiety.
And if they are watching ads, chances are they WILL want to purchase that toy, snack food etc.
Again, quality programming without commercials should have less of a negative impact and can positively introduce them to things they've never seen, show unusual places and cultures and even teach skills like counting and early literacy.

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