Sadly, young children, these days spend a lot of time fiddling with smartphones, tapping away at tablets and staring at TV screens.
In the past, childhood games meant playing outdoor (hide and seek, marbles, kho-kho, etc) or board games. Kids were happier, healthier and have more friends comparing to kids these days who are lonelier and less active than before.
One of the reasons for that is the excessive use of modern technology.
If you want to make your family better and raise happy, social, active and creative kids, you should limit screen time for both you and your kids.
Avoiding screen time before the age of 2 is highly recommended by healthcare professionals. There are benefits to technology and our kids are going to have to learn it at some point. It is therefore recommended to limit screen time to less than an hour a day after the age of 2.
Knowing the harmful effects of too much screen time will help you limit it to eliminate its risks on your kids.
Harmful effects of too much screen time for your kids:
1- Screen time affects the kid’s brain:
Most parents are probably aware of the biggest downside of screen time on kid’s brain the d development.
The National Institutes of Health recently began a 300$ million study to examine the effects of screen time on developing brains. The first batch of results from the study shows that kids who spent more than two hours a day on screens scored lower on language and thinking tests.
And kids who spent more than seven hours per day on electronic devices showed premature thinking of the cortex and that typically happens later in development.
Another study found strong evidence that three hours of daily screen time was associated with a heightened risk of being diagnosed with A.D.H.D.
The good news is that children’s brains keep developing after age five and beyond into adulthood, and its never too late to make changes.
2- screen time is bad for kids behaviour:
As a parent, you should know what excessive screen time is doing to your children’s emotional well-being.
Anxiety and depression in young children are on the rise. The centres of disease control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 20 per cent of American children experience a mental disorder in a given year.
One of the fastest treatment of these mental problems is eliminating all electronics use for several weeks. That will leads to deeper sleep, a brighter and more even mood, better focus and organization, and an increase in physical activity.
The increase in physical activity will help in relieving stress and promoting relaxation and that will lead to better emotional wellbeing to your kids.
3- screen time leads to a poor relationship with parents and friends:
Too much time in front of computers, smartphones and TV increases the likelihood that kids will have poor relationships with their parents and friends.
A new New Zealand study found that the more time the teens spend watching TV or using a computer, the more likely they were to report having difficulty forming a relationship with or an emotional bond to their parents.
The likelihood of having what the researchers called (low attachment) to parents increased 4% for every hour spent watching TV and 5% for every hour spent using a computer.
4- Screen time effects kid’s eyesight:
As children exposure to screen time rises, many parents wonder how harmful excessive exposure to electronic media can be. One of the biggest health issues related to smart devices is vision related.
According to the children hospital of Philadelphia, there are many eye problems caused by excessive screen time as it leads to nearsightedness, eye fatigue, dry and irritated eyes and loss of focus flexibility.
5- Screen time and sleep problems:
Exposure to too much light as emitted from video screens for two hours before bed can affect melatonin production and fool the brain into thinking the body isn’t ready for sleep.
That will lead to sleep problems like insomnia, and waking up the next morning feeling sleep-deprived.
The side effects of the sleep problems are uncountable like dark circle under the eyes, poor memory and poor focus, difficulty with learning retention, hard to wake up in the morning, disorganized in the morning and irritability.
6- Screen time leads to sore, stiff neck:
One of the side effects of excessive screen time is a sore, stiff neck. That happens when your kids spend a lot of time scrolling through apps or playing games on the smartphone.
When they are fixated on a screen, they tend to hold their necks in a stiff, irregular position, which can cause the muscles to lock into place and leave them with a crick until the muscles relax again.
7- Screen time effects kid’s spine:
Back pain is a familiar symptom for most of us, but there’s something especially painful about the pain that comes from sitting on the computer or smartphone.
According to a survey by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) found that 40 percents of kids aged 11 to 16 have had back or neck pain. Those kids were watching TV between 2 and 4 hours a day.
Prolonged screen time encourages poor posture in kids. And if these bad habits set in in young kids, what will their spines look and feel like later in life?!!
An increase in the forward head posture of just 2.5 cm causes a child’s head to weight an extra 6.5-10 lbs! That’s a100% increase in weight-bearing stress on their spine. If the kids keep sitting in this wrong posture, this may lead to change in the shape of the spine.
8- screen time leads to obesity:
If the kids spend too much time on screens, such as watching TV or playing video games. The risk of obesity will raise due to the lack of physical activity.
Now, after all these negativity, there is a positive side is that if you limited kid’s screen time for a maximum of 2 hours a day ( separated ), there is a big chance your kid’s bond with you will return strong, their brain will return working effectively and everything will be well.
Just start now, try to limit your kid’s screen time and trust me, everything will be fine.
Knowledge of the harmful effects of too much screen time is the first step to limit screen time for kids, so please pin this post to share the knowledge :
1 thought on “The harmful effects of too much screen time for your kids”
Well-written article needed to help parents!
I’m a school counselor for Elem kids and would like to access the sources you used above in the article. Is there some way for me to contact the author to get this data?