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What is the appropriate screen time for kids?

Spy Phone at       Jun 14 2020 8:33PM


What is the appropriate screen time for kids?

In an ideal world, all kids would care about is playing outdoors in grass and mud and not want to spend their time stuck in front of a screen. However, today more than ever, the ideal world and the reality are mutually exclusive. The kids now cannot go out to school or play as we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Even before the current crisis, a looming question always plagued parents: Just how much time is enough screen time? Where do you draw the line?

It is first important to understand exactly how detrimental excessive use of screens is to a child’s development.
Reasons to limit screen time
Live interactions and engagement serve as a foundation for developing behavioral skills. The developmental needs are not completely met when these interactions are replaced by media on the screen. This can lead to a host of issues such as:
· Poor social skills.
· Child Obesity
· Compromised vision and sleep schedules
· Lack of focus and poor attention span
· Excessive stimulation of the mind.
· Lack of interest in screen free activities

The idea to completely restrict all screen media for your kids is unrealistic. The smart thing to do is to have a structured plan in place.
A good starting point is identifying and segregating interactive and educational screen activities from passive and non-educational activities. Educational and interactive media should be prioritized as they offer some benefits while limiting mindless consumption.
The amount of screen time allowed to kids can be based on the following guidelines:
1) No screen time should be allowed for kids below the age of 2 years with exceptions made for video calls or Facetime.
2) For kids in the age group 2-4 years, only interactive and educational media is recommended.
3) For kids above 4 years, non-educational content should be restricted to less than an hour.
4) For kids in older age groups, it is essential to keep screen activity apart from school work to an absolute minimum.

While deciding on accepted screen time is the start, parental controls, and apps that set limits on what kids can access and for how long are necessary. Learning and implementing such tools is key to ensure success in managing screen time. Parents set an example of accepted behavior in front of children. The fewer parents engage in screen media; the lesser will kids be inclined to do so. Engaging actively in unstructured and device free play with kids sets them up to appreciate things outside the realm of electronic media.

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