If there’s any hot topic which is grabbing eyeballs everywhere on the internet today is screen time and its ill effects. It’s certainly true that the Internet has been an immense blessing for all of us, but it’s also the reason we often feel helpless when the Wi-Fi or 4G symbol disappears from our phones! Today, our kids are falling prey to the influence of these devices, as the trickle-down effect takes effect.
Let’s find out what experts have to say about the ill-effects of the ever-increasing screen time of today’s children.
1. Child’s Sleep Cycle And Body Clock Is Adversely Affected
The blue light generated by digital gadgets can be mistaken for sunshine, throwing the child’s biological clock out of whack. This is due to the fact that blue light can suppress the hormone melatonin, which regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The lower the melatonin levels in the child’s body, the more likely his sleeping patterns will be disrupted, especially if he is exposed to screens at night. And we don’t need to explain why a growing youngster requires sleep!
2. It Hampers Speech Development
Although more research is needed in this area, it was presented in May 2017 at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting that the earlier children were exposed to screens, the more likely they were to start talking later in life. The risk of delayed expressive speech development increased by 49% for every 30-minute increase in screen time (especially on handheld devices). Experts have also noticed an increase in cases of youngsters speaking too little or too late, with an excess of screen time exposure being one of the possible explanations.
3. It Can Be The Reason Behind Behavioural Problems
Given the sensitivity of children to the influence of electronics, stress reactions induced by screen time have been linked to aggressive and disturbed behavior in them. A recent Canadian study also found that children who had more than 30 minutes of screen time per day (i.e., two hours or more) were more likely to have issues such as poor attention span or ADHD. Furthermore, if the information that the children are exposed to is inappropriate or hazardous, it might have an impact on their behavior and development.
4. More screen time equals less time spent engaging in physical activity
We’re sure this doesn’t need much explanation, because it applies to both adults and children. While our generation relied on parks and social gatherings for entertainment, very young children today get their entertainment from their parents’ smartphones. A lack of unstructured rigorous play and plenty of exercise can wreck havoc on a child’s growing and developing body, including posture issues and excessive weight gain. Indeed, many of the limitations on screen time derive from the simple reasoning that children should be viewing and sitting less and moving about more!
Whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove that screen time is addictive for children, we’re sure you don’t want your children to prove this hypothesis correct in any way! If your child is already glued to the television or your smartphone, take all preventative measures as soon as possible.
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