Excessive screen time usage in children can lead to dire consequences when it comes to their physical and mental health. Learn how you can effectively manage your child’s screen time.
Excessive screen time in children can often lead to dire consequences. Recent studies suggest that children who spend more than two hours a day on their smart phones and tablets tend to have lower brain activity and experience thinning of the brain’s cortex as opposed to those with less screen time.
Children who are exposed to more creative outdoor activities and social interactions have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem. Infants and toddlers tend to learn by observation so exposing them to smart phones at a young age will greatly affect their learning ability and interaction with others. Studies have shown that language development happens best when children interact with adults by talking and playing but this may be hindered with excessive exposure to screens.
Many specialists recommend parents to not allow any screen time for children under the age of 2 and limit usage for older children. Apart from vision impairment there are several other health issues that a child may experience if they spend too much time on their screens. To list a few:
- Obesity: When a child spends too much time in front of the TV his physical activity is limited. Distraction through electronics may lead children to overeat which can result in obesity. Children may also develop a habit for junk food that is advertised on media.
- Digital Eye Strain: Excessive screen time can lead children to develop itchy eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches
- Myopia: Children may develop near-sightedness if their screen time usage is not limited
- Behavioural Problems: Children who spend a lot of time on screens, especially video games, are likely to develop emotional and attention issues.
- Violence: If children are exposed to media portraying violence they are more likely to become desensitized to it and learn to accept it.
There are many ways that parents can limit their child’s screen time usage. Some suggestions to follow include the following:
- Blinking to moisturise eyes
- Lubricating the eyes with eye drops
- Keeping the screen at arm’s length
- Taking breaks to go outside and engage in outdoor activities
- Consult trusted doctors and Paediatric Ophthalmologists for more information on how to manage screen time usage in children
Here are some other tips that can help reduce screen time:
- Do not keep TVs, computers and tablets in the child’s bedroom
- Do not allow children to eat in front of a screen
- Do not play the TV in the background
- Put time limits on smart phones, tablets or TV usage
If your child is experiencing any health related issues caused by excessive screen time get in touch with our expert physicians experienced in Paediatric Ophthalmology who can provide you with the best treatment plan for your child. American Hospital Dubai also has some of the best psychologists who can also help children experiencing behavioural issues. When choosing American Hospital Dubai we guarantee that you and your child will be provided with excellent healthcare services.