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Too much screen time?

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Too much screen time?...

We all know that technology rules the world and without it we would all come to a standstill. Whether it’s online banking or using your mobile phone for a bus pass, we can’t deny the huge reliance most of us have on technology. In a world where AI seems to be developing faster than us and children have been born and grown up in a world filled with computers and tablets, we must ask ourselves – what is the impact this is all having on the next generation?

1. Too much screen time causes social and emotional problems in young children

We know that a lot of kids today spend excessive amounts of time scrolling through YouTube videos of toys, their favourite tv shows, and pointless YouTube short videos. But what connection is there between too much surfing on the internet and social and emotional delays? Well, as we know children can become very attached to things they like, and when they are taken away, they can become distressed. Children don’t understand the concept of ‘too much screen time’ and that’s why it’s important to instil healthy habits from an early age. The bottom line is the more time children spend on tablets and phones, the less time they have experiencing real life and how to function in everyday situations.

2. Too much screen time causes overstimulation

Even we as adults can become overstimulated. Have you ever been in a busy shopping centre where there are lots of people, noises, lights and all of a sudden you want to abandon ship and go home? Well, children can also become overstimulated, even more so than adults. Reducing screen time during social events, outings and before bed can allow children’s brains to process information in a natural way. We can’t expect children to be ready for bed after living an adventure with their favourite tv show characters through the screen.

3. Blue light emissions

Every screen we use emits blue light which, after prolonged exposure, can cause eye strain. Even we as adults are not immune from strained eyes after staring at a screen too much. As adults, we must be mindful of children’s future health. Long-term exposure to blue light emissions can cause eye complications in later life, leading to conditions, such as, ‘age-related macular degeneration’.

4. Inappropriate content

Many children are left un-supervised when surfing the web which means that they are vulnerable to exposure to inappropriate content, web adverts that aren’t always age appropriate and even stranger danger. A lot of the kids these days like to play online games such as Roblox or Minecraft, but this poses a real threat to children being exposed to strangers on the internet.

So what can we do?

1. Set screen time settings

Most phones/tablets have a screen time function. Utilizing this feature will allow you to see just how much time your child is spending on the screen and will also allow you to set time settings.

2. Allow children to be present and not passive

Children are spending too much time in a fantasy world, allow them to be part of our world by putting away the screens during meal times, outings and social events.

3. No screens before bed

Swap screens for stories at bedtime! Studies show that children who are exposed to stories have a higher vocabulary at a younger age and later on in life. Technology is just too stimulating, we can’t expect children to bed willingly when they have a thousand images running around their head. Also, studies have shown that blue light emissions can disrupt sleep cycles leading to children becoming restless throughout the day.

4. Opting for toys and not tablets

These days every child has a tablet to use at home, but instead of putting yourself out of pocket buying expensive tech, use that money to buy your child’s favourite toys or games and allow them to use their brains in a creative and effective way.

For a deeper insight, head over to UNICEF’s article ‘BABIES NEED HUMANS NOT SCREENS’ Click here.

Picture of Chris Drummond-Welsh

Chris Drummond-Welsh

Deputy Coach | BA (Hons)

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Comments (6)

  • Brilliant article well informed and easy to read

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    • Thank you for your comment! Be sure to check out some of our other articles on the blog page.

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  • Wow!
    Such an informative blog, very detailed. So many facts are given, great knowledge is shared and it’s a very important topic that has been discussed.
    The layout of this blog makes it such an easy, accessible read.
    I have enjoyed reading this!
    Thank you for sharing.

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  • As a recent childcare practitioner and mother, I totally agree with this. The only screen time my daughter has is when we put her favourite music on YouTube such as Harry Styles. I have never introduced any TV programmes to her or kid YouTube channels ( not even Miss Rachel). Since not doing this, she enjoys nature walks, going shopping and doing just about anything with her toys. The difference I’ve noticed is she sits so well in a pram when we go out or for food whereas I see a lot of other children glued to their iPads and not being interacted with by parents or family. It’s an upsetting thing to witness and I hope parents take some advice from Chris’ words.

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  • Fantastic blog! It is very informative and such an easy read. Highlighting the importance of lowering screen time for children, it’s highly factual and shows great knowledge.

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  • I found this blog really insightful and useful as a parent to a 5 year old who has grown up surrounded by technology.
    Thank you for the information surrounding the effects of too much screen time, it’s definitely something I have taken on board and will apply in my day to day parenting.

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