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Healthcare & Healthy Living

Excess Screen Time: 4 Dangers of Excess Screen-time for Children

Today’s young generation has grown up in an already technology-saturated world. Children will never know a world without smartphones, tablets or the Internet since these devices are now an integral part of our daily life. 

While technology can be fantastic for kids to aid them in their play and growth, it does mean parents today have to set and maintain boundaries and find out how to limit screen time for children. Excessive screen time can have negative effects on children, particularly on their brain development and their physical health

The following outlines the dangers of excessive screen use in kids, and ways you can help minimize these risks.

4 Dangers Excess Screen Time Pose for Children and Younger Ones

Dangers of Excess screen time for children

Let’s find out dangers excess scree-time pose for our younger ones and how to curb them to derive the best of each child. Here are the four dangers to watch out for.

1. Obesity

Too much time engaging in sedentary activity by watching TV or playing gaming consoles can put children more at risk of weight gain. Childhood obesity is a major health risk, as it increases the risk of developing health issues like high blood pressure, breathing problems, type 2 diabetes and psychological problems like anxiety and depression. 

Research has shown that children who spend a lot of time in front of screens are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t. In order to prevent children from becoming obese, parents should limit screen time to less than 2 hours per day. Instead of sitting around the television after school, encourage the kids to go for a run and play in the park or throw a ball in the backyard! 

Encouraging physical activity is especially important when only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Limiting screen time will help to instill in your children healthier habits and set a good example for them to follow.

Obesity in children caused by excess screen time
Obesity is a very deadly disease that could claim anyone’s life, and it starts from younger age. Obesity in children are mostly caused by excess screen time, and this could be averted by reducing the number of time children spent blinking at their devices.

2. Sleep difficulties

Many of us like to wind down in front of the TV in the evening, but this extra screen time before bed can backfire. The light emitted by screens such as TV screens, iPad screens or portable gaming devices interferes with our children’s sleep cycles. The sleep experts at BedroomCritic warn that not getting enough sleep or adequate sleep can lead to children developing insomnia, fatigue and irritability during the day, lack of concentration and premature waking.  

Many children are not getting the sleep they need, especially when they are spending time before bed on their screens. Young children should be getting between 11 and 12 hours of sleep a night, yet many are going to bed too late to enjoy a full night’s rest. Parents should establish an appropriate bedtime, and set a rule whereby there’s no screen time allowed at least an hour before bedtime. Instead of having the TV on in the evening, switch it off and have the kids play a board game or challenge them to a puzzle!

Sleeplessness in children could be as a result of lack of enough sleep
Sleeplessness in children could be as a result of engaging the brain too much in front of smart devices. Many children are not getting enough sleep their body and soul need to function properly.

3. Learning and brain development issues

Children who spend too much time looking at screens tend to be more prone to behavioural and academic problems. Two or more hours of screen time a day can lead to greater developmental difficulties, including issues with memory, attention and language skills. Research has found that more screen time is linked to poorer progress in areas such as communication, problem-solving and social interactions among young children. 

While a child is glued to a screen, they are missing out on opportunities for development in the areas of walking, talking, learning and interacting with others. They are adopting bad habits when it comes to lack of concentration and being too engrossed in a game to acknowledge others. Some children may become too dependent on electronic games that they lack to cope with everyday stressors in a healthy way. 

Parents can intervene by providing an activity that is developmentally appropriate. Ask them to help with the cooking or pull out the paint sets and have the kids engage in activities that will help boost their developmental growth while providing the same entertainment they’d get from an electronic game or TV. If your kids do sit down to their screens, you can also provide them with kids’ educational games so they can continue learning while having fun.

Learning and brain development issues
Excessive gaming and other time-consuming activities like social media could affect children’s brain development as a result of over-reliance on them.

4. Exposure to violence

There has been a lot of debate on whether violent video games or exposure to violent TV shows/movies impact children. While a child’s exposure to violent games or shows doesn’t necessarily mean they too will become violent, it has been shown that constant exposure to this type of genre can desensitize children to seeing aggressive behaviour in the long run, decreasing their ability to feel empathy. 

Violent video game exposure can increase aggressive thoughts, behaviours and feelings in children and can also lead to a mental health condition known as “gaming disorder”. It’s important to know that while playing violent games or watching violent shows doesn’t mean your child will develop antisocial behaviours, parents should restrict these games & shows and ensure they’re age-appropriate. 

Rather than condemning video games, parents should encourage their use in moderation as they can have positive effects and also be a good stress reducer – especially good in school-aged or teenage children.

stop the violence by decreasing excess screen time
Children could easily develop antisocial behaviors, lack empathy, and become more violent as a result of unguarded smart device usage. It could as well leads to cyber bullying and all sort of violence. You can simply put a STOP to violence by decreasing screen time of your children.

How to moderate your child’s screen time

Children are still developing, and excess screen time can have a negative impact on their developmental growth. Being sedentary, spending too much time in ‘computer world’ rather than the real world and not engaging in real-life activities can lead to numerous health issues in children. 

As a parent, it’s important to encourage the use of screens only in moderation. Limiting screen time to 2 hours a day will have a positive impact on your child’s health and wellbeing and will encourage them to develop healthy habits that will benefit them in later life.

Photo by: Unsplash, Pixabay

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How to Guide

How to Keep your Children Safe while Surfing Online

The  world wide web (internet) opens-up a world of possibilities for you and for your children to learn and play together. There are hundreds and thousands of child-friendly sites that will teach them lots of new things and keep them entertained for hours, but as with most things you need to keep an eye on them to make sure that they stay safe. There are a lot of real dangers on the internet that you need to be careful to protect your child from, including unsuitable content and any lurking predators. But as long as you stay vigilant and keep a few simple steps in mind you can ensure that your children stay safe and happy online.How to keep your children save online while surfing the internet

Play together

The perfect way to supervise your children while they are online is to use it with them. Find sites that you can help them to navigate and learn and with games that involve more than one player. There are many educational sites with fun games, puzzles and quizzes that will help them learn while they are having fun. Using the internet is becoming an essential life skill so using it with your kids and teaching them how to do it will serve them well as they grow up.

Always keep an eye out

Of course there will come a time when your children want to use the computer on their own, and that’s natural, but you should always keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not looking at anything they shouldn’t be. The best way to do this is to place the computer in a communal area of the house so that you can always have a look what they’re up to as you pass by. It is much easier to ensure they’re safe if you can see what they’re up to.

Password Protect your Computer

Another way to control what the computer is being used for and when it is being used is to password protect it. Both computers and internet connections come with many options to help you to password protect various access points on your computer, such as any website with unsuitable content or any program that is installed. This means that you can always stay in control of what is on your computer and stop children from getting into trouble. They may not always like it but it is essential for staying safe!

Stay involved and up to date

Staying up to date and involved with new technologies on the internet will mean that you are able to talk about things over the dinner table. If you get out of touch then your children will no doubt tire of explaining everything to you every time and will simply stop! It also means that you will be aware of potential dangers and will be able to step in before anything happens. To ensure your children stay happy you’ll also need to stay up to date with the fastest connection. The best way to do this is to do a broadband speed test and compare it with other providers in your area, and consider switching to the best one.

Categories
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Children Will Experience More Wrist and Finger Pain With Gaming Devices

Children experience Wrist and finger pain when using mobile gaming devices, reports suggested.

The trends in the computer gaming and mobile apps is on the rise everyday and statistics show it that more children will continue to buy one or two mobile and computer gaming applications often and often if proper care isn’t taken to prevent this situation and this can cause some certain diseases on the children in near or later time.
Due to unhealthy use of mobile devices, children are likely to experience wrist and finger pain when using mobile or computer gaming devices over time.

The solution: What can be done to prevent this is well said in this writeup at ScienceDaily. Continue to read the post and the outcome of the research over there.