Keep an eye on kids’ screening times
SPENDING time watching television, surfing the internet and playing computer games or handheld electronic games can be fun and even educational.
But there are a number of negative effects of too much time sitting in front of a screen, such as, poor posture from looking down at a device, sore and irritated eyes, headaches and fatigue, strains of the thumb, wrist and elbow, sleep problems, poor social skills, slower development of language skills, less active outdoor and creative play, displaying anger when being asked to come away from the screen and an increased risk of becoming overweight.
So, how long is too long? It is recommended that children under two years have zero screen time.
Children aged 2 to 5 years should be limited to less than an hour of screen time each day and children aged 5-12
Try these tips to stay within the recommended screen time per day: ALLOCATE specific time periods for electronic media use (trying to avoid daylight hours when kids can be active outside or playing inside if the weather is poor). AVOID using screen time as a reward for good behaviour. RESIST giving mobile devices to children when going out — try and take books or toys instead. TURN off the TV during meal times. MAKE the bedroom a screen-free zone. STORE portable electronic devices, such as tablets, phones and computer games, out of sight when they are not in use. SET a good example — little eyes are always watching and will copy what they see us do so limit the time you spend using electronic media.
Let’s face it, increased screen time is something that we all face with the rapid increases in technology in recent years. We all need to make more of an effort though to have active screenfree time getting outdoors, enjoying sport, music or simply reading books.