Increasing screen time is not good for your child


The exponentially growing technology has caused all of us to obsess over all our gadgets. We spend most of our time with our gadgets, playing games, surfing through the internet, etc. The same holds true with the children, they spend most of their time watching television, working on tablets, playing and texting on mobile phones, etc. Due to this increase in screen time, there are a lot of consequences that they have to face. They tend to get addicted to their gadgets, avoid going out to play and mingle with people. This makes them lethargic and ignorant towards things that include physical activity.

The increased amount of screen time has various health issues too. A few of them are -
  • Sleep deprivation:
    • Children require at least ten to twelve hours of sleep each night for facilitating the normal growth and development of their body and mind. Since they tend to watch television or use other gadgets in the evenings and at night, they sleep later than their usual sleeping time.
    • Children are distracted when they have gadgets in their vicinity, while sleeping. The screens of almost all electronics, including phones, tablets, televisions, etc., emit blue light. Our body interprets this blue light as day light, therefore causing disturbed sleep.
    • Due to sleep deprivation, children can become cranky and their ability to concentrate can reduced, leading to health problems.
  • Obesity:
    • Most of the gadgets with electronic screens require the users to sit in a place or stay still for a prolonged time. Due to this, children are resisting the idea of going out to play, in turn avoiding physical activity. This is leading to obesity at a young age.
  • Vision problems:
    • As children get involved with their gadgets, they do not take their eyes off the screen. This may be the cause vision problems, develop eye pain, and increase the eye power.
  • Discomfort:
    • Due to the strain caused by using gadgets, children complain of various pains like neck pain, wrist pain, back pain and more.
    • Arthritis and migraine may also be developed in the future due to continuous exposure to the screen.
  • Diminished social skills:
    • Children who spend a lot of time with gadgets usually have weak social skills. They are very versatile while using their gadgets, but fail to communicate effectively in person, face-to-face.
    • Children’s lack of social skills affects their future relationship with people and hinders their overall development.
  • Increased aggression:
    • If the children are continuously exposed to tv shows and games that are aggressive, they gradually develop an aggressive behaviour.
  • Stress and unsatisfactory human relationships are also a common thing noticed among children who spend a lot of time with their gadgets. Due to this, children have reduced reading from books too.
  • According to a survey conducted by UNESCO, children who have lesser screen time, have more knowledge about current affairs, while the ones who have more screen time have more knowledge about entertainment.
 
The above-mentioned reasons for increase in screen time may also be the reason for children’s poor performance in academics. It is important for parents and educators alike, to encourage children to start limiting the usage of gadgets.