Screen time and babies (0 to 12 months)
With a small baby, parents should be careful not to excite him or her by a flashing screen or loud noises. A family with a baby needs to adjust their media use to the baby’s needs. Closeness, creating a feeling of care and affection, is important for the baby.
Suitable media for the baby is listening to soothing music or looking at a picture book. In a family with a baby, checking the adults’ media use is most important. If screen time takes up too much time, baby’s needs and interest in interaction may be neglected.
Screen time and toddlers (1 to 3 years)
Toddlers should not be continuously exposed to media. The quality of media content is important; overly powerful content should be avoided.
Even if the toddler seems to enjoy his or her time by the screen, the adults in the family should control the screen time, because over-stimulation is very exhausting for a child. Common rules of media use should be made clear to the child.
Screen time and preschoolers (3 to 6 years)
This is the age when a child starts to use more versatile media options. It would be a good idea to think about everyday family routines and what part media plays in it. Media should not override family-time or physical activities.
Programmes and games children use should be suitable for all ages, i.e. be S rated. Adults should have a look at the content in advance because not even all S rated programmes are suitable for children.
Emotions and ideas generated by media should be talked about with the 4- to 6-year-olds.
Screen time and primary school aged children (7 to 12 years)
Alone time at home is the major difference in media use between children of primary school age and the younger ones. A child may be already very knowledgeable with the devices and his or her friends’ opinions play a huge role in his or her interests in media, too.
Adults should pay attention to children’s media use and use media together with children and also discuss the use. When a child gets his or her first mobile or starts independent media use, you should talk about media and respective rules. You should activate parental controls in media devices to allow you to control access to web pages depending on age-appropriateness.