Screen time is when kids use phones, tablets, computers, or watch TV. It’s like when you’re playing games on your tablet or watching cartoons on TV. You might really like it, and that’s okay because screens can be lots of fun!
But have you ever wondered why screens are so fascinating? Well, screens have colourful games and exciting videos that can grab your attention. They can be like a magical world you want to explore. That’s why kids sometimes want to use screens a lot.
Now, here’s the thing: While screens are fun, it’s important balancing screen time and offline time, like playing outside, learning, and spending time with family and friends. Too much screen time can sometimes make it tricky to do all these other great things.
In this article, we’re going to learn about screen time guidelines. Guidelines are like helpful rules that can make sure you use screens in a healthy way. We’ll talk about how to find the right balance, so you can have fun with screens and still enjoy all the other cool things with the help of media use guidelines and tips.
Screen Time Guidelines for Children
With the help of these media use guidelines, you can balance screen time with other activities and still enjoy all the other cool things that make you happy and healthy.
How Much Screen Time Is Okay?
A good guideline is to limit screen time for kids. For example, you could have 1-2 hours of media use a day. That’s like watching your favourite show or playing a game for a bit. It’s a healthy balance.
Break Time is Important
Remember to take breaks during media use. Every 30-60 minutes, take a break to stretch your body, maybe go for a walk, or do something active. It’s good for your eyes and your body.
Not all media use is the same. Some things you do on displays can be educational and fun, like learning games or watching documentaries. These are better choices than just watching anything.
Sleep is Precious
Avoid media right before bedtime. The light from screens can make it hard to fall asleep. Try to have a screen-free zone in your bedroom.
Family Time is Special
Use displays with your family sometimes. You can watch a movie together or play a fun game. It’s a great way to bond and have fun as a family.
Have places in your home where screens are not allowed. Like the dinner table. It’s a great time to chat with your family without any screens.
Be a Good Role Model
Parents and caregivers can also follow screen time guidelines. When they use screens wisely, it sets a good example for kids.
Explore Other Interests
Remember, there are so many exciting things to do besides screens. You can read books, draw, play outside, or learn a new hobby. Exploring different interests makes life more colorful.
Communicate with Your Family
Talk to your family about screen time rules. It’s important that everyone is on the same page and understands the guidelines.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is a great way to balance screen time for kids. You can ride bikes, play in the park, or simply enjoy nature.
AAP Screen Time Guidelines 2023
For screen time in 2023, the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) offers some recommendations. They claim it is not about spending a certain number of hours in front of devices. Instead, they concentrate on the nature of how children utilise screens, such as what they do there.
American Academy of Pediatrics screen time recommendations by age are as follows. They advise against screen usage for infants under 18 months, with the exception of video calls with relatives. Toddlers between the ages of 18 and 24 months can watch some television with an adult to aid with their learning. And it’s acceptable for children between the ages of 2 and 3 to watch up to an hour of quality instructional programming every day. The AAP believes that the usage of screens by children and what they do with them matters more than how many hours they spend doing so.
Negative Effects of Screen Time on Child Development
Balancing screen time and child development is key to nurturing a well-rounded, healthy young mind. Too much time spent looking at screens like phones, tablets, or computers can be not so good for kids. The effects of screen time on children can be seen in many ways. Here’s how:
Less Playtime: If kids use screens too much, they might not have enough time to play and run around, which can make them less healthy.
Less Talking: Using media displays a lot might mean kids don’t talk and play with other kids as much. This can make it hard for them to learn how to talk and make friends.
Not Enough Sleep: These displays can make it tough for kids to fall asleep. This can make them tired and not feel so good.
Hard to Pay Attention: Too much media use can make it tough for kids to pay attention to things for a long time.
Scary Stuff: Sometimes, screens show things that can be scary or not good for kids to see. This can make them feel bad or worried.
Internet Dangers: When kids use the internet a lot without grown-up help, they might see or talk to people who aren’t nice. This can be unsafe.
Not Good for Learning: Spending too much time on screens might mean kids don’t have enough time to do schoolwork and learn new things.
Not Healthy Habits: Using screens too much can make kids eat snacks when they’re not hungry and sit around a lot, which can make them not so healthy.
Less Time with Family: If screens take up a lot of time, kids might not have as much time to spend with their family, which is important.
Parents and caregivers can help by making sure kids don’t spend too much time on screens and making time for other things like playing outside, reading, and talking with family and friends.
Balancing Screen Time and Offline Time
We’ve talked about how important it is to think about screen time and child development. Spending too much time on screens can sometimes have not-so-good effects on children. It can make it hard for them to play, learn, and be healthy. But when we find the right balance between screen time and other activities, we can help children grow up happy and strong. So, let’s remember to use screens wisely and make time for all the fun and important things in a child’s life!