Digital transformation has spawned an array of electronic gadgets coveted both by adults and children. Internet connectivity, TVs, computers, tablets, gaming devices and smartphones are used by one and all. Children watch audio-visuals and partake in interactive games, sometimes spending hours with the devices, without a thought for food or sleep. This type of viewing is called “excessive use of screen time”. Such excess use can prove quite side effects to the child’s overall development. Here’s how.
- Due to constantly gazing into the screen and by staying in one position, children may develop problems concerning their eyes, neck, and spine. They may also develop fatigue, headaches and a bad posture.
- Their daily routine gets skewed as they sacrifice their meals, sleep, outdoor activities and social interactions with family and friends, in favor of growing screen time. Children may be deprived of opportunities to build a repertoire of new knowledge, language skills, and vocabulary. Some children may develop obesity and malnourishment due to lack of physical exercise and poor eating habits.
- Most importantly, children miss out on first hand and sensory experiences of exploring and discovering the world around them.
Guidelines to limit screen time use
While it is okay to use a device as an educational tool for school-related work or gain some cognitive skills, through interactive activities such as solving puzzles it also important to limit the screen time. You can regulate your child’s use of screen time by being proactive. Here are a few guidelines to help you.
- Set time limits for screen time use.
- Make a well-balanced timetable of daily routine activities and encourage your child to stick by it.Encourage your child to embrace the outdoors and maintain contacts with friends. Cultivating a hobby may not be a bad idea for your child.
- Guide your child to desist from constant poring into screens. Give tips on watching out for eyes, posture and so on, by blinking eyes, doing few stretching movements from time to time, and so on.
- Help your child in selecting good material for screen time and in maintaining safety on the internet (such as not sharing personal and family details online without parental permission).
It’s no secret that kids are one of the most technologically sound people around, but you can be proactive and prevent the potential hazards of excessive screen time.
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