Is Your Child Getting Too Much Screen Time?
By Sara Butler
We live in a technological age. Children today know a lot about computers and other technological devices -- more than even some adults! While technology can be a fabulous source for entertainment and learning for your child, there are also health implications to consider when you think about how much screen time your child is getting. Here's what you need to know about screen time and how much your child should really have for their continued health and wellness.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children from age 3 to 18 should only get about two hours of screen time per day. Children under 2 should get none. This can be a real challenge between school and home since most schools are utilizing technology more than ever. The real key to deciding how much or how little screen time your child should have is to understand why these limits are suggested in the first place.
The Advantages of Screen Time
Real talk: Sometimes it's easier when you're out and about to give your child a handheld device to keep them busy while you run errands and do what you need to. It's a babysitter that parents use and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
There are many online education games children can play to help improve their language and math skills. Even television offers documentaries or learning programs that can be helpful in bolstering your child's learning. These days there are even video games that encourage physical activity and promote coordination. So, not everything about technology is a bad thing.
Why Screen Time Should Be Limited
While there are advantages to screen time, there are also plenty of reasons to limit it. These include:
- Sleep - Getting your kids to go to bed can be an exercise in patience, but if they've had too much screen time and used devices too close to bedtime, then it can make it even more challenging. The stimulation from screens can interfere with their ability to fall asleep, so it's best to take the screens away in the hours before bedtime.
- Social awareness - There's some evidence to suggest that children who get too much screen time have difficulty reading human emotions.
- Social interaction - Using technology means you're not interacting with other people in the real world, which can make it difficult to work in family time together or playtime with other children.
You want to give your kids the best in life. Sometimes that means providing for them -- but other times it may mean taking away things. Watch out for your child by limiting their screen time.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.