Frequently Asked Questions on screen time for Children

Parents are puzzled by a lot of doubts regarding the screen time of children. Here, we have tried to answer as many Frequently Asked Questions as possible.

You must’ve told your children that excessive usage of gadgets is harmful to health, not to use too much otherwise your studies would be affected, do some physical activity and don’t sit in one place all the time. Well, your worries are in fact right and backed by scientific research!

In this article, we’d try to answer the queries of your parents regarding the screen time and electronic usage of your children using factual data from various studies and journals.

How much screen time is appropriate for my child?

According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers up to two years of age should have no screen time. Children from 2-5 years of age should not have more than 1 hour of screen time a day. For the age group of five years and above, it depends on parents’ discretion on what screen time they allow but it is advised not to be more than 2 hours a day.

Is more screen time harmful to children’s health?

Yes, it is! According to various research, more screen time in children may cause attention problems, sleep depravity, obesity, and lower academic performance. According to the University of Oxford, children spending more than 4 hours per day on screens are more prone to being overweight. Another study by the University of Pittsburgh says that more than 2 hours of screen time is more likely to develop attention problems.

Does screen time also affect the mental health of children?

You would be surprised to know that increased screen time may develop symptoms of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents. This is stated by research published in JAMA Pediatrics and Psychological Medicine. It indeed affects a child’s mental health.

Why is there a need to limit the screen time of my child?

The reasons to limit screen time on your child are not limited to physical and mental health problems. It goes beyond that. This includes the perspective of life as a whole. Living in the virtual world more than the real world may destroy the child’s future. He might not only lose various opportunities for his career development but developing an addiction will render him useless and incapable of interaction with society in general. Not just that, but if the physical or health problems become severe, that would ruin your child’s life. 

Is time spent watching TV also included in screen time?

Any kind of engagement with electronic screens is included in the screen time. This includes time spent on computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, and television (TV) too.

What is the WHO recommendation on screen time usage for children?

WHO has given recommendations for children of 5 years and below that they should sit less and play more. According to the recommendations, there should be no sedentary screen time for children aged 0-2 years. For children aged 2-4 years of age, sedentary screen time should not be more than 1 hour.

What is the screen time limit for toddlers with autism?

Even for toddlers with autism, the screen time limit is the same as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, i.e., no screen time up to 2 years of age, and a maximum of one hour of screen time for 2-5 years of age.

Is screen time harmful to children’s eyesight?

There has been no definitive evidence that screen time can directly affect the eyesight of a child or a person in general. But studies by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, University of Toledo, SCORM, NIOSH, etc. have given their insights on the effect of screen time on eye health. These studies have stated that increased screen time causes eye dryness, irritation, discomfort, and possible damage to retina cells due to blue rays. The study by SCORM showed increased chances of developing myopia due to increased screen time.   

In conclusion, it is extremely crucial to reduce screen time, especially among children. For tips on how you reduce screen time, do visit The School Social’s blog here. 

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