Is Too Much Screen Time Harmful to Your Children?
Screen time basically refers to the amount of time a person spends staring at their digital devices such as TV, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and gaming consoles.
A report by The Vision Council has suggested that about 70 percent of American parents have already reported that their children have been spending time in front of their screens for more than two hours per day.
We are part of a digital age where adults and children are addicted to their digital gadgets, which is why they spend a significant amount of time staring at their screens and spend way too much screen time.
However, it is also important to understand why too much screen time can be problematic and harmful to your children in the longer run. The excess amount of screen time can disrupt your child’s mental and physiological health such as disturbing their normal sleep/wake cycle, damaging their body postures, and making them physically inactive.
A portion of the light emitted from the digital screens is called blue light and it contains shorter wavelengths and higher energy compared to the other visible light rays. Several laboratory results have proved time and again that certain bands of blue light can be harmful to the eyes. This blue light can also disrupt one’s sleep/wake cycle.
Risks of Ample Screen Time for Children
There are too many risks involved with spending too much screen time, especially for the children. Sleep disruption is one of the major risks associated with too much screen time. Kids who spend way too much time in front of their screens don’t sleep well and as a result, suffer from poor academic performance and obtain poor grades.
Once the sleep/wake cycle is disrupted, it can also lead to other severe problems such as obesity and laziness. Children who do not get proper sleep are more likely to come across other problems as well such as lower levels of happiness, higher levels of loneliness and depression and mood disorders.
According to the same study conducted by The Vision Council, it was found out that around 30 percent of parents reported their children experiencing some symptoms after spending more than two hours of screen time every day. The symptoms they experienced include severe headaches, pain in neck/shoulder, a strain on the eyes, reduction in attention span, poor behavior at home and school, and irritability. These symptoms can potentially affect not only their academic performance but social interaction as well.
How to Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time?
Parents can help reduce their child’s screen time by setting up a parental control solution on their devices as well as the online platforms they are using and set time limits on it. The time limits will prevent your children from spending way too much time in front of their screens and can only use them for a limited time.
Before making arrangements for limiting your child’s screen time, you need to first limit the use of screens yourself. Parents can be a good role model for their children and by reducing their own screen time they can encourage their children to do the same.
They should treat screen time as a privilege and should only give this privilege to their children once they have finished other important tasks such as homework, assignments, house chores, etc. They should make their children understand that screen time is a privilege that can be taken away from them at any time.
Always try and get your children involved in other physical and outdoor activities such as playing badminton, soccer, or cricket, going for a walk in the park, going for a picnic, or playing outside with their friends. By keeping your children engaged in physical activities, you will boost their physical growth and development and keep them away from spending too much screen time.
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