Keep an eye on kids’ screen­ing times

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - Stacey Al­dous

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.