How Much Screen Time is Healthy for Kids?
With the internet connection and gadgets on hand, the learning behavior of children starts up with screen time. Screen time is beneficial for educational and cognitive development; however, your kids might be at the behavioral and cognitive risks with dependence on screen.
Usage of electronic gadgets is useful for children to remain updated with advanced technology. But, sharing a prolonged hour of screen time for kids is not healthy.
Restricting screen time might be challenging for you, but it is good for your kid’s physical, psychological, and mental health.
Kids these days share screen time for more than average hours. They lack proper hours of sleep and are often exhausted, irritated, and isolated.
They have a risk of having poor social issues and health issues such as backbone problems, cardiovascular disease, blurred vision, obesity, high cholesterol, etc.
Positive Impacts of Screen Time for Kids
Limited screen time for kids is good for kid’s health. Go through the points to learn about the advantages of screen time for kids.
1. Healthful Behaviors
By using smartphone apps, your kids develop healthful behaviors. They get acknowledged with information regarding physical exercise, healthy foods, and queries for academic courses. Such learning behavior motivates kids to adopt healthy choices.
2. Virtually Socialize
Kids using social media make new virtual friends. Virtual friends are communicated through social media by text messages and calls and online games.
These acts of kids make them comfortable to add new friends and get to know people. Also, playing multiplayer online games helps kids improve leadership skills and makes them more confident and concentrated on specific tasks.
3. Makes your Kids Smart
Screen time makes your kids smart, for they get access to external information such as technology, music, games, and worldwide news apart from academic courses.
They can take a quick virtual tour for gaining worldwide updates that makes your kids informative and somehow extroverted as well.
Negative Impacts of Screen Time for Kids
Several hours of screen time have negative impacts on the physical and mental health of kids. Let’s take a look at a few of the potential dangers of screen time for kids.
1. Socially Inactive
Children learn social norms and values from their parents. If they don’t communicate much with their parents from an early age, they find it difficult to establish a social connection when they grow older.
They are not conscious of getting to know or help other people. Such kids find a reason to stay alone that concludes in suffering from loneliness.
2. Poor Motor Skills
Kids constantly need to use and move their muscles to develop fine motor skills. Sharing screen time for hours doesn’t allow a kid to move their muscles.
They need to crawl, walk, and stretch their body for healthy development. Let your kids play with balls, building blocks, draw, color, or solve puzzles to enrich motor skills.
3. Lacks Creativity
Kids who are encouraged to unplugged activities are more creative than the ones enrolled in plugged activities. Let your kids solve puzzling games, make them read books, allow them to play with sand, dough, and legos.
Such indoor games are fun and, in the meantime, encourage kids to be concentrated and use their creativity.
Why is Prolonged Screen Time Dangerous For Kids?
While using different websites, your kids might be displayed with content inappropriate for them. They may get access to irrelevant content related to pornography and violence.
Such contents are not safe for your kids as they can develop more interest in adult content and be violent by nature. If you don’t know how to check screen time, check out this blog on how to check screen time on android.
Making new virtual friends on social media is a common thing. Your kids might share personal stuff with an unknown person who doesn’t assure safety and privacy.
Some of the virtually connected users might be intruders who might cyberbully your kids by blackmailing, forwarding pornographies, and so on.
With several hours of screen time, your kids start to show low academic performance. They develop a habit of eating unhealthy and junk foods, looking at advertisements of unhealthy foods over the internet.
Mood problems, less family time, imbalanced body posture are other few impacts of sharing too much screen time.
Suggested Screen Time Rules for Kids By Age
This is the recommended screen time guidelines to be shared by kids based on their age.
1. For 1 Year Old
No screen time is suggested for the kids who are younger than a year. They can have screen time for video chatting. They can video chat with families, relatives, and grandparents for a few minutes. Don’t expose younger babies much to digital devices.
Kids who are 1 year old and younger need several hours of sleeping time that ranges from 12-14 hours. They should be engaged in physical activities such as crawling, holding a standing position, having fun with the playhouse, fetching objects, and walking around.
2. For 18-24 Months
For the 18-24 months old, introduce digital devices for them but limit up to 30 to 40 minutes of screen time.
Play educational games and rhymes for your little ones. Keep an eye on the screen media that your kids watch. In the meantime, introduce new words to improve their vocabulary.
3. For 2-5 Years Old
2-5 years is a perfect time for introducing quality media programs for your kids. An hour of screen time is limited for kids of this age. They need constant supervision from adults to make them understand the content they are viewing.
They can learn from live video chat or tutorials from Youtube, which are explained again by adults. Including an hour of screen time encourages them for physical activities. Let them have quality sleep for more than 10 hours.
4. For 6-12 Years Old
Supervised screen time of 2 hours with frequent breaks is suitable for kids between the age of 6 to 12. You should set a rule of having 30 minutes of screen time followed by an hour of break and physical activity.
Ensure screen time doesn’t overlap the sleep time and eating schedule of kids. Teach them the habit of keeping cell phones aside while eating.
Along with the guided screen time, you should encourage your little ones to engage in physical activities. Teach them posture to view the screen and maintain a minimum of 18 inches distance between their eyes and screen.
5. Above 12 Years Old
2 to 3 hours of screen time is healthy for kids who are above 12 years old. This is the age where children spend most of their time using social media and playing video games.
If they are wasting time on screen, make them understand the negative impacts of social media such as cyberbullying, blackmailing, intruders, etc.
Tell your kids the potential dangers of spending several hours playing video games. Introduce them to health issues such as anger, mood swing, poor body posture, visionary impact influenced through hours of video games.
You should set a schedule for your kids to use cell phones and certain apps suitable for their age.
How to Set Screen Time Limits for Kids?
Here is the list of a few tips to set screen time limits for kids.
- Encourage your kids for unplugged activities that include arts and crafts, cooking, baking, and knitting.
- Prioritize nature walk or physical activities in your kids’ daily schedule like taking a walk, running, cycling, swimming, and so on.
- Let them know about safety measures and privacy shared over the internet.
- Ensure that your kids show more interest in sports and music instead of playing video games.
- Play puzzles, brick games, board games, and read along with your child so that they won’t need a screen.
- Apart from all these screen limit actions, use parental control apps if your kids still have unhealthy screen time. Fenced.ai, FamiSafe, OurPact, Norton Family are some parental control apps you can use to monitor your child’s screen.
Limited screen time is healthy for kids for educational and social skills development; however, a time limit should be set for screen time. The limited screen time helps kids to develop healthful behavior, become virtually social, and make them smart.
But, on the dark side, excessive screen time results in poor children’s health, poor motor skills and a lack of social skills and creativity.
We have mentioned healthy time guidelines a kid should spend on a screen. Suggestions for screen time are noted for kids of 1 year, 18-24 months, 2-5 years, 6-12 years, and 12 years and older.
Go through the screen time limit recommended for kids specified by age and let us know if the information was helpful through comments.