Limiting Children's Screen Time - Eastern Mirror
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Limiting Children’s Screen Time

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 25, 2024 11:54 pm

Health experts have been drawing attention to the risk posed by unrestricted screen time on children’s physical and mental health, amid reports of kids and adolescents from across the world significantly increasing their screen time over the years. The unhealthy trend may have been triggered by the COVID-induced lockdown and the shift to online learning following the closure of educational institutions during the pandemic, but it has stayed on long after students returned to their classrooms. Today, many parents and guardians turn to smartphones to pacify infants as young as one when they become restless or throw tantrums. It may work but can prove costly for the overall growth of children. According to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, the risk of developmental delays may increase for children who spend a significant amount of time on screen when they are one year old. It also associated communication and problem-solving delays in children. According to the report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), most children do not meet the guidelines it has set for limiting screen time, and millions of innocent kids could be exposed to the risk of developing health and psychological problems. If left unchecked, too much screen exposure can impact one’s quality of life, as a child learns various skills from their environment—from what they see and hear.

The responsibility of limiting children’s screen time lies with the parents. The WHO has recommended ‘no screen time’, be it on mobile phones, television or other devices, for infants up to one year old; no more than an hour daily for one to four year olds; and only up to two hours of sedentary recreational screen time per day for five to 17 year olds. To avoid possible consequences, parents should stick to this recommended duration, if not less. It is also becoming increasingly important to constantly monitor the type of content young people consume, considering the growing dependency on the internet for entertainment, accessing educational content, and various other purposes. Parents should keep their children away from sexual predators, scammers, cyberbullies, human traffickers, etc. who are lurking on the internet, looking for vulnerable victims. Empowering young people by imparting knowledge about safe online behaviour, like avoiding strangers and not sharing sensitive personal information on or off the internet, will help keep predators at bay. Educators, too, have a huge role to play in creating awareness among young students about online violence. Children should be engaged in creative activities instead of being glued to the screen.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 25, 2024 11:54:33 pm
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