Majority of the kids these days are glued to their devices like smartphones, tablets and computers long before they can learn how to ride a bike. Truthfully speaking, their odds of finding pages that buy Instagram followers are higher than going out of the house. As life progress, technology can undoubtedly be part of a happy and healthy childhood. Of course, this is considering the fact that privilege is not abused.
To give you an example, among pre-schoolers, it can help them to learn the alphabet on a public TV, grade school students may play education games and applications and teens can take advantage of their tech by searching the web.
But like everything else in the world, having too much of something can be bad like:
- Kids who are spending 4 hours or more a day watching television have greater probability to become overweight
- Teenagers who are playing violent games as well as apps have a tendency to develop aggressive behaviour
- Characters on video games and TV typically depict risky behaviors similar to drinking and smoking and at the same time, reinforcing racial and gender-role stereotypes.
This is the reason why it is vital among parents to monitor the screen time of their children and set a limitation to make sure that they are not overspending their time in front of their devices.
As a matter of fact, the AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending the following guidelines to be followed for optimal screen time:
- 0 to 18 months – there should be no screen time, with the only exception of chatting with friends and family
- 18 to 24 months – a bit of screen time with supervision from a caregiver, guardian or parent
- Pre-schooler – not exceeding an hour a day of educational programs along with a guardian or parent overseeing them and explain what they are seeing
- Kids and teens – parents have to put consistent limitations towards screen time including social media, video games and TV.
How it Leads to Obesity?
For the longest time, health experts have been linking obesity to too much screen time. When staring longer in screens, kids become inactive and have the tendency to snack more. In fact, in a study, it showed that the decreased amount of TV that kids watched resulted to lower BMI and less weight gain. Thus replacing video games with outdoor games is a nice way of keeping them healthy.