Digital media exposure is now believed to create serious harms to kids. And for this reason it is a must to limit this exposure. Creating a safe environment on phone devices and on social media is now more crucial than before as technology is easier to access. The problem with digital media exposure is not only limited to the content that they view online. The problem is also related to the physical damages that it may cause. Parents seriously need to set screen time limits for their kids if they are concerned about their health.
What is screen time
Screen time refers to the amount of time spent in front of any sort of screen. It can be a computer, mobile device, television, or game console. Parents need to be aware of and set screen time limits. It is always advisable to limit kid’s screen time. Instead, it is better to fill kid’s time with parent-child engagement, physical games, and books. The colorful world of screens is attractive but it creates a distance between your kid and the real world and real people.
Screen time limits for infants 18 months and younger
For children of this age the advisable screen time is none at all!
Doctors believe that the noise and colors of the TV screen is too distracting for babies and it must be minimized as much as possible. the most negative effect of screens on the children of this age is indirect and how it disconnects parents and children. Eye contact is really important for infant’s brain development and when parents’ attention is fixed on TV, infants would be deprived of the attention.
Screen time limits for children 2 to 5 years
According to research, children at this age can be introduced to screens but only one hour a day.
Children at this age hasn’t developed cognitive abilities yet and they are unable differentiate between the real world and the world of cartoons. They don’t understand advertisements and they can’t interpret an image like older kids.
Screen time limits for children 6 years and older
For children of six years and older and teens, it is their parents job to set time limits based on circumstances.
Parents should consider all of their children’s needs and come up with the right screen time for them. The environment of media has now changed to a positive way. It allows children to interact, be creative and positive. For example, kids can do their home works on their smart devices. They can create presentations for their lectures and express themselves graphically.
However, kids and parents must be aware of the dangers of social media including cyber bullying, sexting, etc.