Screen time has become a crucial part of many children’s daily activities.
We can’t deny that there are benefits to screen time. It can be a tool to help children learn new things, expand their vocabulary and understand the world around them. It can also be used to calm children down during stressful situations, and to hone their talents with online tutorial videos.
But what most people don’t realise is too much screen time can lead to harmful and long-term effects on growth and development.
What are the harmful effects?
Obesity and Poor Posture
High levels of screen time lead to a sedentary lifestyle, meaning less than the required levels of exercise and movement. Calories consumed are stored in the body and turn to fat, which may contribute to a risk being obese in the future. Too much screen time can also result in poor posture as kids tend to slouch while holding their devices.
Poor Social Skills
When a child is exposed to too much screen time, they tend to spend time on the bed or couch with their gadgets. Because of this they don’t have enough opportunities to practice and engage in social interaction with their peers. The Australian Government’s Department of Health have also mentioned similar effects to kids aged 2-5 years old who are exposed to long periods of screen time like being less active in outdoor and creative play and having slower development of language skills.
What can you do to help prevent these effects from harming your kids?
You can limit the amount of screen time. 1-2 hours a day is a fair amount of time to have access to screen time. Once you regulate that, kids will have more time to do other things like read books, arts and crafts, interact with family and engage in sports!
Take them outside! A great solution to get kids off their devices is to get them involved in physical activities! And one of the best ways to do that is having kids play at playgrounds!
Children can improve their social skills by interacting with other children. Skills like balance and muscle strength can be developed while using different playground equipment. Imagination and creativity are also developed along the way! Playgrounds can also bring you closer to your children as you can engage in activities together.
You can check out some of the playgrounds we’ve done here.