Childhood is a time of tremendous sensitivity and brain development in response to everything one is exposed to.
It is a period when everyday experiences, both positive and negative experiences, bestow lasting effects.
Exposing children to long screen time can pose a bad effect on them, especially when what they watch is not monitored or regulated adequately.
Experts have warned that children between 0-2years should not be exposed to screens at all. While children between the ages of 2-5 years should not have more than one hour of screen time and children between 5-17 years should not have more than two hours of screen time. This will help minimize the harmful effect on children’s behavioural and educational development.
Moreover, screen time is not limited to the time spent watching television but also time spent using a computer device, playing videos and using smartphones.
Screen time can have long-lasting physical and emotional effects on children. Here are five ways screen time may be harming your child:
1: Impacts children’s sleep.
2: Impairs academic performance.
3: Delays in speech development.
4: Behavioural, social and emotional impact.
5: Chronic neck and back pain.
6: Too much screen time can lead to obesity.
7: Smartphones harm the parent-child relationship.
8: Develops a new addiction.
Meanwhile, the following measures can be adopted to reduce excessive screen time:
- Co-participate: where parents and children take part in screen time together and engage in conversations about the content. This encourages spontaneous opportunities for learning and practising language skills
- Use parental controls: Set aside screen use rules and time to unplug.
- Promote and model healthy electronic use: Set a good example by minimizing the way you use your own gadgets before children.
- Encourage other indoor and outdoor activities and keep bedrooms screen-free.
- Monitor your child’s screen time and the websites he or she is visiting by keeping TVs and computers in a common area in your house.
Despite the numerous advantages of digital technologies, too much screen time may have harmful effects on children’s development. Keeping the above-listed measures in mind will promote healthy viewing and curb some of the negative effects.