Negative Side Effects of Too Much Screen Time for Kids

10/12/2019

While there are pros and cons to our children being raised in a technological era, there are definitely some big side effects of our kids being exposed to too much screen time.  In this technological age, kids are being raised differently from how their parents were raised.  In the past, the only thing we really had to worry about was too much T.V. – but boy has that changed!  Now there are smartphones, apps, google, youtube, video games and more.  It’s no wonder that many children are experiencing negative side effects of too much screen time~

 

Negative Side Effects of Too Much Screen Time

  1. Restlessness/Lack of Sleep

Looking at screens, and more specifically the blue light in screens, before bedtime can interfere with a child’s brain’s sleep cycle.

  1. Obesity

If children are spending copious amounts of time on a screen, one thing they typically aren’t doing is being active.  Spending a significant part of the day in front of a screen can lead to obesity, poor concentration and limited physical activity. A 2014 study by UCLA’s Children’s Digital Media Center suggests that when screen time limits face-to-face interaction, kids’ social skills may be negatively affected, and this may blind them from understanding the emotions of other people.

  1. Academic Problems

Some children have shown that when they spend more time on phones and tablets their grades and academic progress suffers.  In fact, some studies have shown they can actually do WORSE on academic testing.

  1. Attention Issues

Children who spend over two hours per day on their screens can have issues paying attention:  whether that be in the classroom, at home or with their peers.

  1. Lack of Social Skills

Vast use of technology in children can affect their social skills.

 

What the Doctors Say

In an article from tech news world, this is what Dr. Mali Mann has to say:

“In the past, we only had to be concerned about too much TV exposure. Now we have video games, computers and cell phones. It is overwhelming for young children and creates patterns of behaviors similar to addiction patterns,” said Mali Mann, M.D., adjunct clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

“Their brains get used to too much auditory and visual stimulation — and in the absence of these stimulations, they do not know what to do with themselves,” she told TechNewsWorld. “They get anxious, restless, bored and aggressive.”

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to pull out your phone in a restaurant and give it to your restless toddler when the food is taking longer than normal – or when you are at a family function and you are catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen for a while.  The question is this:  are we escaping parenthood for convenience?

While some sources say any child under the age of two should have zero screen time, including having the television on for background noise, I am a firm believer in finding a happy medium:  if we live in the technology age, let’s embrace it WITHOUT it becoming a crutch.  Instead of escaping our parenting responsibilities by handing our toddlers tablets so we can get some peace and quiet, let’s embrace being with our children instead!

There are many educational apps which have helped children grasp maths, English, other languages, colours, morals and much more.  Many schools, such as little Human Scholars preschool, playschool and kindergarten in PJ are even integrating technology within lesson plans.  The difference with Little Human Scholars is they limit the amount of classroom activity with technology AND it is also supervised so that the children aren’t being over-stimulated via too much screen time.  Much of the time allotted during school sessions is allocated to social, physical and mental stimuli without the use of technology.  So how DO we find a happy medium on a day-to-day basis OUTSIDE of school?

 

Limiting A Child’s Screen Time Starts at Home!

While there are several things we can do to limit a child’s screen time, keep in mind that it all starts with the parents and the caregivers!  Here are some tips on how to limit your child’s screen time at home:

  1. Use parental controls.

If your child is going to be on the internet, a smartphone or tablet, make sure they are monitored.  There are browsers you can install which keep your child safe from websites that are pornographic or racist in nature.

 

  1.  Disconnect.

As a parent, you must be able to disconnect yourself and spend some time AWAY from the television, laptop, tablet and phone.  Whatever you do your children will mimick your behaviour.  If you set aside time to spend with family, friends and loved ones daily, your children will experience you doing this, and they will do the same.

 

  1. Make play and physical activities an important daily ritual. 

Children learn through play and it is crucial for their development.  It helps them develop fine motor skills, problem-solving skills all while burning some of that excess energy children tend to have.  If they are stuck on a screen all day, they don’t get the chance to hone these skills.

 

  1. Limit activity to two hours per day for children.

This includes television, video games, and apps on smartphones and tablets. In fact,     the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) do not recommend screen time for kids younger than 2.

 

Finding a happy medium whereby we can embrace technology while practicing moderation is crucial.  Our children have opportunities and technology we, as parents, did not have when we were growing up.  Luckily for those in the Petaling Jaya area, there are schools which implement and integrate technology moderately within their lesson plans while providing ample time for children to learn through play.

 

About Little Human Scholars School in PJ

Little Human Scholars is an all-in-one childcare solution.  It is a preschool, playschool, kindergarten, nursery and full-day daycare centre (with extended hours) located in the heart of PJ.

 

In fact, the location is one of the things which makes Little Human Scholars so sought after – it is conveniently nestled near Jalan Gasing, University hospital, PJ Old town, PJ New town, Jaya One, Jaya33, and the PJ IT Mall.

 

The best part is LHS has premiere services many other schools in PJ don’t offer such as full-day daycare with extended hours, CCTV access for parents, and a nifty little phone app called Toddlytic which provides parents with automatic updates on their child’s development, behaviour and health checks.

 

With full-time guards always present at each of their locations, access to CCTV (which is in every room except the office, bathroom and kitchen areas), and very strict pick-up and drop-off rules, Little Human Scholars treats every child who walks into its hallways as one of their own children!

 

This place has it all:  location, safety, health, IGSCE curriculum and play-based learning.  What more could you ask for?  Did I mention they also have transportation services and offer meal plans for students?  It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

If you are interested in a tour of one of our centres (that’s right, there’s more than one), all you need to do is fill out the form here or call +6017-7303-025 and an LHS administrative staff will get back with you shortly!

 

Cheers,

 

Jana Moreno

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