Managing Screen Time

Normally Parents get worried related to screen time use by children but they have no idea that using how much screen time is enough and should not over. The screen time should not interrupt with kids health routine Including their sleep, their studies, their meal time, their time of interaction with friends and family and their hobbies such as reading a book, Sports etc. In this article the effects of excessive screen time in children has explained. Moreover, there are some tips that will help you to know that how to manage appropriate screen time for your child.

Positive effects of screen time

There are certain advantages contained by screen time for young children if they use for appropriate time and the main use is for education purpose.

Reinforce Lessons

The educational videos can be helpful for children in their Learning and developing the concepts. it can be useful for finding material easily for their study purpose. The screen time it can be helpful in making assignments or study online or watching the practical work related to their studies. children can easily communicate with their class fellows in sharing of any the class work or assignment.

Teaching Material

The digital media you can provide variety of teaching methods and materials that would be helpful for children and they are learning and clearing concepts. Moreover they can learn by watching videos they have been taught with the theories previously.

Home-school connections

The technology is helpful in learning for children at their home too. Children can learn by finding learning materials on their screen. the teachers can also communicate with their parents easily and can send links of learning material that children can study at home. The appropriate use of screen time you can also increase skills of children and if they are facing any issue regarding any creation of arts they can easily learn by watching related videos.

Negative effects of Excessive screen time

With advantages of screen time, the negative impact of using screen time also exist. however using in limited amount and for better purpose, children can utilize the advantages while using excessively you can have very severe negative effects on Children’s health. some of them are explained as follow.

Impact on Cognitive Development

Studies have shown that by using too much screen time there would be negative effects of screen time on a number of cognitive functions including executive functioning, sensorimotor development, and academic outcomes. Excessive screen time has found to have a negative impact on executive functioning significantly in teenagers, notably on working memory, inhibition, and the capacity to switch between tasks.

Studies have showing that increased screen time results in lower academic performance. students have been observed to score less in subjects of mathematics and English. This is due to poor attention and focus on the studies as children utilize more time for screen for other activities then education.

Language Development

In early childhood the age is important to learn language skills and its associated factors like vocabulary and phonology. The skills are obtained by interacting with adults. Human interaction, particularly between adults and children has significant role development of language skills of child. Screen time decreases interaction between children and parents resulting in fewer chances for the child to practice and develop their language abilities.

Difficulty sleeping

Using screen time excessively significantly before bedtime can seriously disturb children’s sleep pattern. The blue light emitted by screen results in disruption of circadian rhythms and sleep cycle. Therefore the children who uses screen time too much face difficulties in their sleep and stay awake.

Obesity

Using screen time excessively can also impact physical activity of children. When children use screen time too much they avoid playing outdoor games, doing exercise and other physical activities due to which their health affected. One of the studies showed that when three-year old child is given screen time for longer period has an increased risk of obesity by age five.

The amount of time spend using devices with screens including tablets computers televisions and smartphones is referred as screen time. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recommends use of screen time for children:

  • Children who are younger than 18 months old should have zero screen time. They can use video chatting with family members for short period of time.
  • Children who age between 18 months to 24 month can use screen time for watching educational programs only and with their parents or guardians.
  • Children who age between two to five years can use Screen time for only one hour per day if using for non educational purpose.

Strategies for managing screen time in children

Excessive screen time using from younger age and making habit of it can result in bad lifestyle like poor diet and Irregular sleep. The amount of screen time like watching television or using tablets among teens reduced by specific activities that should aim to reduce screen time.

The activities should include the games that exclude screen time like paintings, solving puzzles in physical form, reading book or sport playing like football, badminton or any exercise like skipping and swimming. You can also use interventions like using an electronic monitoring device to restrict screen time (which allows users to set time limits for TV), the TV Turn-off Challenge (a campaign to turn off the TV for a specified number of days), the conditional use of screens on physical activity, or education via mass or small media (such as newsletters, brochures, or billboards).

Birth kits distributed to moms by maternity hospitals should contain information regarding newborns and toddlers seeing screens and their impact on health.
Health Care providers should counsel new parents about restriction of usage of screen time in small children. Schools should take a stand on how much time kids spend using screens both inside and outside of the classroom and let students and parents know about it.

Final Thoughts

Parents can play major role in reducing and managing screen time by raising awareness, set boundaries and observing child’s behavior. Parental attention on children And removing screens in bedroom can result in reducing screen usage significantly. Before setting boundaries on children parents should be an example by showing children that they are also using screen time for limited time. Parents, teachers and healthcare Providers should spread awareness about health issues related to excessive screen time and should promote strategies to limit screen time in children for their healthy development.

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By Dr. Mehwish Murad Ali

Hey there! đź‘‹ Dr. Mehwish Murad Ali here, rocking the world of pharmacology as a PhD scholar and spreading my passion for knowledge as an Assistant Professor at Ziauddin University. When I'm not unraveling the mysteries of science, you can catch me sharing my insights on parenting hacks and embracing the magical chaos of family life at Cuddle Pixie. Let's embark on this parenting journey together!