Kids And Screentime
The amount of screen time that is considered too much for kids depends on a number of factors, including the child's age, the type of screen activity they are engaged in, and their individual needs and circumstances.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children aged 2 to 5 years should have no more than one hour of screen time per day, and that children aged 6 years and older should have consistent limits on the amount of screen time they have each day.
For older children and teenagers, the AAP recommends no more than two hours of screen time per day, although it is important to note that this guideline does not take into account time spent on schoolwork or other educational activities that may require the use of screens.
It is also important to consider the quality of the screen time. For example, passive screen activities such as watching TV or playing non-interactive video games may be less beneficial than active screen activities like educational games or video chats with friends and family.
SYMPTOMS OF TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME AND DIGITAL EYE STRAIN
Spending excessive amounts of time in front of screens can lead to a variety of symptoms related to eye strain and overall discomfort. Some common symptoms of too much screen time and digital eye strain include:
Eye fatigue and strain
Neck and shoulder pain
Irritation or burning in the eyes
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Increased sensitivity to light
It is important to take regular breaks, adjust the screen brightness and contrast, and ensure that your eyes are at a comfortable distance from the screen to prevent these symptoms. If you experience persistent discomfort or symptoms, it is recommended that you consult with an eye doctor.
HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT SCREEN TIME?
Talking to your kids about screen time is an important conversation to have, as it can help establish healthy habits around technology use. Here are some tips on how to approach this conversation:
- Set clear rules and boundaries: Establish clear guidelines around screen time, such as how much time they can spend on screens, what types of content they can access, and when screen time is allowed.
- Explain the reasons behind the rules: Help your kids understand why it is important to limit screen time, such as the potential health risks associated with too much screen time, or the benefits of spending time doing other activities like playing outside, reading, or spending time with family and friends.
- Encourage open communication: Encourage your kids to come to you with any questions or concerns they may have about screen time, and listen to their perspectives as well.
- Be a good role model: Show your kids by example that you also prioritize screen-free activities and limit your own screen time.
- Focus on balance: Emphasize the importance of balance, and help your kids find ways to incorporate a variety of activities into their day, both on and off screens.
Remember that the conversation around screen time should be ongoing and flexible, as your child's needs and habits may change over time.