Kids spend a lot of time in front of a screen these days, whether it’s watching TV, using a smartphone, or playing on an iPad. While it’s true that technology is not all bad; there are plenty of educational TV programmes and games, it’s sensible, and important to limit the time kids spend using electronic devices.
Why you should limit your child’s screen time
It affects social interaction and communication skills
If kids are glued to their screens, they aren’t generally interacting with other people. This can affect the development of their communication skills and also the social contact that’s needed for the development of healthy relationships with other people.
It encourages a sedentary lifestyle
Too much time sitting in front of a screen affects physical health too. If children are spending more time on the computer or in front of the TV rather than being active and playing, this can encourage weight gain. Childhood obesity is already a global problem and it’s steadily getting worse.
It discourages learning
Research studies have found that children who watch TV for 2 hours or more each day have a more limited vocabulary and a higher risk of developing an attention deficit disorder than children who don’t. Encourage your child to read, spend time outdoors, or play with educational toys instead.
It disrupts sleep
We’re all guilty of having a sneaky Facebook check before bed, and just as this can affect our sleep, the blue light that smartphones and tablets emit can disrupt children’s sleep too. Switch off all electronics at least 2 hours before bedtime so they get a full night’s sleep and wake up bright-eyed and full of beans.
It can affect behaviour
Recent studies published in paediatric journals found that children who watched TV or played computer games for 2 or more hours per day were more at risk of developing psychological issues.
As a parent, you are best placed to monitor your child’s screen time and set sensible limits. Talk to your child about why this is important, and why having a good balance of activities in their life is the best option.
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