What counts as screen time?

Q: My 5-year-old watches a lot of TV, but he’s also playing at the same time with LEGOs. Does this count as screen time?

A: Yes, it counts. Reducing screen time to no more than two hours per day is a good approach with all children, regardless of what else they may be doing at the same time. 

Multitasking with LEGOs is probably better than simply sitting entirely fixated on the TV screen, but it still doesn’t allow for a variety of other activities, including aerobic activity important for muscle development and healthy weight maintenance.

Encouraging your child to add time for reading, drawing and aerobic activities would all be good for a variety of reasons. If it’s possible to arrange playtime with other children, that would be a good alternative. Finally, playing games — both indoor and outdoor — with your child is another good way to get him away from the screen.