Child Screen Time Toolkit

The Child Screen Time Toolkit below is based on evidence, best-practices, and findings from an external messaging campaign conducted in 2019 for the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living. This toolkit consists of resources, data, tools, and guides. Use this toolkit to learn about child and adolescent screen time in Texas and how you can impact our state's health as a parentschoolcommunity member, or policymaker

This toolkit was launched on August, 30, 2022. 

Texas SPAN DATA Explorer:

  • The Texas School Physical Activity & Nutrition (TX SPAN) Survey from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living published their 2015-2016 Child Nutrition in Texas results online in an interactive database. This interactive database shows results by state and region of the state for grades 2, 4, 8, and 11. This resource can be used to find sedentary time data for Texas children. 
  • The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living Healthy Children, Healthy State Child screen time one-pager showcases a summary of screen time data for children in Texas. 


Make Healthy Choices at home:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a family media plan resource, policy statements, and technical reports on families’ and children’s interactions with various forms of media.
  • The World Health Organization created new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep for children under 5 years of age.
  • We Can! Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition! has some tips to help your children spend less time in front of a TV, computer, or video games—and more time being active.
  • Fill out the We Can! Screen Time Chart to see how much time your family spends in front of a screen. Keep one chart for each person.
  • Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has selected research on screen time and children.
  • Salud America! has an article about overuse of social media/screen time being a top concern for Latino parents.
  • Boston Children's Hospital Digital Wellness lab came out with a 2022 Digital Wellness GuideThis Digital Wellness Guide is designed to provide parents and caregivers with information and guidance based on clinical evidence and scientific research.
  • The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and partners published 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep. These guidelines for children and youth aged 5–17 years respect the natural and intuitive integration of movement behaviours across the whole day (24-h period).
  • Action for Healthy Kids has a resource about strategies for school and home to reduce screen time.

Ask for change at schools:


Individual School wellness:

  • CATCH has different resources about screen time for kids K-2 and 3-5
  • Kids Health In the Classroom has a Teacher’s Guide to screen time for Grades 3 to 5. This guide includes standards for screen time, example activities to get kids off of screens, discussion questions, and materials to use with students to find out how much screen time they participate in. 
  • Fairplay: Childhood Beyond Brands Children’s Screen Time Action Network created an Action Kit. This Action Kit includes information for educators including: a resource about the effects of screen time on health, a resource about the problem with technology in schools, Educator Commentaries about the problem of technology in the classroom, and a Critical Analysis of Ed Tech in the Classroom.
  • Austin Public Health has a resource about Tips for a Healthy School Environment related to screen time.

Resources and Information for Early Care and Education:


General Screen Time Resources and Information:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an interactive Screen Time Widget where you can click on a specific age, it will tell you how much screen time this age group gets, and then healthier alternative activities. 
  • Common Sense Media is a Nonprofit organization that provides ratings for media appropriateness for each age group. You can search a movie or TV show and this website will provide how old a person should be to watch this media, what type of information a child will be exposed to in this media, and other helpful information.
  • The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute has helpful tips on how to reduce screen time. This resource also contains links to other helpful tools to reduce screen time. 
  • Nemours Children's Health has a resource on how to limit screen time use. This resource contains information about the benefits of reducing screen time and best practices for different age groups. 
  • The Harvard School of Public Health has an Obesity Prevention Source web page about how TV and childhood obesity are connected. 
  • UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health has resources about food marketing via TV and digital media.
  • Stanford University has recommendations about screen time and children. 


General Screen Time Resources and Information:

  • Active Living Research has a research review titled "Sedentary Behaviors and Youth: Current Trends and the Impact on Health". This research review examines trends in sedentary behaviors among youth and their impact on obesity. It also explores differences in the prevalence of sedentary behaviors based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Policy implications and future research needs are also identified.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a resource about behavioral interventions to reduce screen time.