Every child seems to have their own devices lately

Overview

Today’s generation has grown up with electronic gadgets around them all the time. So much that they cannot imagine a world without it. The advantages in the technology today have also made parents rely on the smart gadgets to improvise on the knowledge of the children though they know the harmful effects of it.

Due to the current pandemic of Covid-19, most of the functions running around globally has come to a halt and has shifted its course of working to the online way. And therefore, has affected our physical health and schedules, and specially affecting the children as schools have shut down and making the students lazy as there is not much physical activity which can be done through the online mode. It only hasn’t let them affect physically, but the health of a child is also being affected due to the amount of time they spend on the gadgets.

From the young kids to working adults, most of our work is done through the internet. And since almost every knowledgeable thing is available through the screens, we overlook the bad side effects to it. Nevertheless, with the latest research by National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is said that the main negative effects are brain growth, obesity, sleep problems, eyesight, chronic back and neck aches, depression, anxiety and lower test scores.

According to the latest study each milestone of childhood has certain things to learn as the milestones given below.

·        Toddlers from age 2-5 are not supposed to have more than an average of 2 hours of screen time. But these toddlers are the ones to spend more than the average time as they are seated in front pf the screen to make sure the parents are not being disturbed during their work hours which has also shifted to the online mode too due to the pandemic.

·        Children aged from 5-12 are the ones who are to be involved in most physical activities as this is the age is where the child develops most of the essential skills of life such as motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills and communication skills. Most of the skills can be built through a lot of online modes such as games, internet friends, but these can also be addictive as this does not involve any physical activity and hence making the child lazy. These primitive intermediate school going children are at the stage of starting to be independent, and when electronic devices are given at hand to them, they are certain to overuse it and not build up on their behavioral skills such as inattention and hyperactivity are shown.

·        The age group of 13-18 is adolescents, at these age children seek for motivation to do anything they’re interested in as this age makes them dream and build dreams as to where they want to see themselves  a few years down the lane. So, we must ensure that they are given the resources they seek for and encourage them in whatever activity they choose. The type of screen time these adolescents have is of most concern as there are many features available and known to them so far. These adolescents spend over 3-4 hours watching shows, movies and scrolling through social media pages.

According to the survey conducted by NIH, 79% of the children among each of the age groups stated above spent more time on the screen (for over two hours), are said to be a main cause for obesity, sleep problems, eyesight, chronic back and neck aches, depression, anxiety and lower test scores compared to those who have a limited screen activity. And lately due to the pandemic, the screen time has exceeded more than the average. The said issue also has positive effects on a child’s personality through limited screen time like motor skills and coordination through video games; research for school projects, contact with their friends through various social media applications, etc. makes their parents to let their children rely on their electronic devices to keep them at home and stay safe from the deadly virus, not realizing much about the physical and mental constraints it’s being led to.

Tips on how to maintain Children with screen time. 

Since there are pros and cons to the said issue, we can only ensure that we eliminate the cons as much as we can. And here are a few ways we would suggest to ensure the best health for your children:

  •  Keep a track of the time spent on the screen.
  • Make them avoid using electronic devices while dining.
  • Be realistic with your child, tell them why they must not spend too much time on the screen by talking about the adversities caused due to it. Ensure to also talk about the positives about spending time on the screen which helps them understand the cause better.
  • Make sure you are a good role model; this can be done when you limit your screen time to 2-3 hours per day.
  • Minimal movement exercises for your child:

    - Ask them to close their eyes and roll for 20 seconds.

    - Ask them to rotate their neck as much as they can for 20 seconds and turn to the left and right as far as they can turn.

    - Ask them to stand up, bend forward and backward as much as they can

    - Ask them to rotate their neck as much as they can for 20 seconds and turn to the left and right as far as they can turn.

  • Encourage and role model your children to balance screen time along with some other activities where there is minimal screen time.

Frequently Asked questions by parents and students in regard to limiting screen time.

  1. How do I track my child’s screen time while using the electronic devices while I’m busy in my own Schedule?
    To keep a track of the screen time for your child, install some third-party apps such as Zift, Screen Time, unglue, etc.
  2. The child’s resources of study material are all available through the electronic gadgets including the tests/exams conducted, what is the best alternative?
    Take printouts of the study materials, while testing your child’s learning on a certain topic, look for printable worksheets online. BlendEd has a range of worksheets categorized in class, subject and level manner which helps you find the right worksheet for your child with the benefit of AI backed up correction process which also provides feedback on the child’s performance, handwriting and skills developed after solving each worksheets. 
  3. Among teenage groups, they are most likely to be addicted to social media, what’s the best alternative to ensure reduction of usage of social media among them?
    -To reduce the screen time in teenagers which is mainly through social media apps is to have a third-party app which doesn’t let them open the app after a set period of time.
    -Ask the adolescent to start reading some fictional book which drives their interest to read more books and reduces the overall screen time.
    -Take a detox from social media once in a while which further helps you to reduce the screen time and also gives you an overview about how much the usage of social media affects you for your well-being. Social Media Detox is one of the best ways to help you out to reduce screen time and make you know the importance of other physical activities.
  4. How do I set a goal with my child about limiting the screen time for my child?
    -To reduce screen time for your child, you must first let them know about the adverse effects and then set a time limit for every time they have a smart device given at hand.
    -You must understand that a child using smart devices for almost five hours a day won’t immediately be able to limit it within two hours. Introduce physical activities which does not include the screen, for one hour a day, and slowly increase the time of physical activities whilst reducing the screen time.
  5. Is extra screen time okay when it for educational purposes?
    -While it is great that you are considering having extra screen time for your child in development regarding the educational skills, ensure to limit it within the time frame and take breaks away from the screen for a minimum of 6-7 minutes and following some minimal low movement exercises stated above.
  6. When my child is having more than the average amount of screen time for like 4 hours is there any safe way to ensure the health of my child?
    -Of course, there is an option to make sure our eyes are not strained while we have a lot of screen time and it is available on most of the smart gadgets as ‘Night Light Mode’, ‘Reading Mode’, ‘Grayscale Mode’, and these modes ensure that the screen isn’t reflecting a lot of blue light which strains the eyes, but with these modes, the brightness is limited and makes our eyes feel comfortable.

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