Screens are everywhere these days. Televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones can be found in almost every home, and in the hands of even the youngest members of the family. However, while too much screen time for anyone is proven to be harmful, the effects on developing children can be even worse.
How much screen time is average?
Research shows that ages five through eight years olds are spending nearly three full hours a day staring at the TV, tablet or smartphone screen. The average age for a child to have their own smartphone now is 10. With so much access to new technology and user-friendly devices being targeted to younger generations, screens are taking more and more of children’s attention than ever before.
What is at risk with too much screen time?
The risks are significant, particularly in children. Staring at a digital screen can lead to several potentially harmful issues such as :
- Poor sleep
- Poor social skills
- Delayed reading and cognitive skills
- Sedentary behavior
- Poor health
- Childhood obesity
- Eye strain and poor vision
What can be done to help?
The easiest way to lessen the effects is to limit screen time for children, and simply say “no.” However, screens are a part of daily lives now, so when they are using the screens, try these helpful tricks to help lessen the risks.
- Limit time to one hour or less on any screen at a time
- Cut off screens at least two hours before bedtime
- Invest in a pair of blue-light canceling lenses from BluTech Lenses to reduce blue light reaching the retinas
- Get outside and get moving
- Enroll your children in sports and after-school activities
- Plan family activities such as hiking, board games and family dinners with no screens allowed