Children are introduced to digital media at an early age as our society shifts toward a digital lifestyle. These days, children are basically raised in front of a tv.
With classrooms, libraries, and parks closed due to the second wave of the COVID -19 disaster, children’s time spent in front of the TV, tablets, and other devices is likely to have increased. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average child spends about 7 hours a day in front of a screen; but, because these are unusual times, that number has begun to increase.
Increased Screen Time and a Pandemic
Children find it difficult to avoid digital media at times like these, when online learning has become a focus for them, and screen time has become a requirement. Owing to the crisis, they have become reliant on screens to socialize and amuse themselves. Whether it’s watching TV, playing video games, spending time on social media, or participating in educational activities, screen time has become the norm. According to a 2017 UNICEF survey on children’s online experiences around the world, children account for one out of every three internet users worldwide.
For teenagers, scrolling and clicking touch screens has almost become a regular chore. 75 percent of toddlers use smartphones and tablets on a regular basis, according to a survey from Common Sense Media, which advocates for healthy technology and media for children. In order to establish safe media use, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends just 60 minutes of child screen time a day to ensure quality screen time, except online learning.
Children’s Effects of Too Much Screen Time
The amount of time spent in front of a screen should be reduced. The negative effects of screen time can be seen in a variety of ways: doing screen time right before bedtime can disrupt children’s sleep, and the blue light emitted by the screen can disrupt hormones that control their sleep cycle. Increased BMI, screen exhaustion, eye pain, child obesity, vision syndromes like short-sightedness, digital eye pressure, and even mental health problems have all been linked to increased screen time every day. Limiting screen time is not only beneficial for children’s wellbeing, but it also helps them socialize and form real-life friendship networks, as well as improve their interaction skills.
Limiting Children’s Screen Time
Regardless of the importance of screen time, the very least parents can do is monitor their children’s screen time. It’s crucial to keep track of things and set limits. Children’s habitual screen usage can have long-term consequences, so it’s important to establish a healthy schedule that limits their screen time. To maintain restraint, it’s also necessary to make a plan and stick to it; this will give their interactions with screens a sense of order. On its website, the American Academy of Pediatrics also has a screen time calculator that allows you to schedule quality screen time. To uphold the practice of healthy screen time, proper schedules must be established and strictly adhered to.
It is profoundly disturbing that children spend almost all of their time in front of a television.