The mobile-first world has already captured the population of all the generations. The little kids are seen using phones like a pro. The hybrid education due to the pandemic has led to an increase in total screen time for kids. According to research, 42% spend more than 30 hours on screen.
Screens are a usual part of our lives. TV, laptop, and mobile phones are seen in every home. These excessive screen usages have led to effects like obesity and early-age eye disorders among kids. Hence, it becomes necessary for parents to keep a check on the screen time kids.
What Is Screen Time?
Screen time is the total time spent using any type of screen. The activities are done in front of the screen, be it watching TV, using a mobile phone, or surfing the internet on a computer or laptop, comes under screen time. Activities that involve using screens are sedentary and require less energy. Hence, extended screen time for kids can affect their overall growth.
Screen Time For Kids: How Much Is Too Much?
The American Academy for Paediatrics recommends acceptable limits of screen time for kids of different age groups:
- Screen time should be 0 for kids below the age of 2
- For kids of age 2 to 12 should have screen time of only an hour per day
- For teens and adults, the permissible limit of screen time is 2 hours.
But, we do not always follow the recommended screen time. Children between the age of 2 to 12 years have screen time of 5-7 hours. It can result in serious health and development issues.
Screen Time and Its Impact on Kids
The constant screen use has serious impacts on the mind and bodies of the kids. Their screen use activities promote a sedentary lifestyle promoting additional health issues. Limiting screen time for kids is important as it may have the following impacts:
1. Social, Emotional, And Behavioural Development
Children with excessive screen time tend to develop social fear and behavioural issues. They are more comfortable chatting than having a real conversation. They fear socializing and issues like social anxiety. Too much screen time for teenagers has made them emotionally unstable and more distracted. It also has developed a hindrance in their overall growth and development.
2. Weight Issues
The activities that involve screen use tend to promote sedentary habits. Kids do not move much and sit for hours in a place. The lack of physical activity results in weight issues in kids at an early age. Young kids suffer from obesity and related disorders. It can lead to severe health issues in the future. Hence, screen time impacts kids with weight issues from a very young age.
3. Sleep Issues
Screen time for kids when exceeding a limit can lead to sleep disorders. The blue rays from the screen delay the release of melatonin. This results in shifting in bed timing and prevents deep sleep. Kids experience insomnia and sleeplessness in kids. This affects their biological clock and can have adverse effects on their health.
4. Unhealthy Habits
Excessive screen time in kids can result in a lack of concentration and an increased level of stress. Due to sleeplessness and anxiety, children can miss school and have a lower capacity for learning new concepts. The unhealthy habit of too much screen time can expose them to addiction to social media and expose them to explicit content on the Internet.
Limiting Screen Time For Kids
Screens have become an indivisible part of our lives. Hence, getting away from the screen is not an option presently. But, parents can practice limiting screen time for kids to save them from facing the ill effects of excessive screen time.
1. Set Family Guidelines
Children tend to copy their parents. Hence, parents have to limit their screen time to make the kids learn. Parents can set family guidelines for using a screen for specific timing. You can make rules of not using phones while having meals, or one hour before bed. These family guidelines from the beginning will force kids to follow them and limit their screen time.
2. Set Screen Limit Using Parental Control App
Parental control apps like TiSPY are a boon to parents. Using the app parents can check on the screen time of their kids. They can even limit the screen time using the app. Parental control apps like TiSPY helps parents to set a limit on their screen time. The kids after exceeding which the device will automatically turn off.
3. Play Indoor/Outdoor Games With Kids
Kids who use screens for an extended period tend to lack physical activity. You can motivate them to play outdoor and indoor games. It will increase their endorphins and improve their physical health. The indoor/ outdoor games will give them a break from a sedentary lifestyle and also introduce new skills in their life.
Screens have become a usual part of our life. Excessive screen time has impacted the overall growth and development of our kids. Hence, parents need to step up and save their kids from these impacts. Parents can take different ways to limit their child’s screen time. Hence, taking a step towards introducing the kids to a healthy lifestyle.