The 21st century is the age of science and technology. The use of modern technology has changed the world drastically, making things both more comfortable and further complex. Almost everyone is equipped with some or the other forms of electronic gadgets. Access to electronic devices makes life easier in all sorts of ways. On the other hand, these tools can have adverse effects on human health as well. For instance, all electronic appliances have radiation to some extent, which affects delicate internal organs like the brain, nerves, eyes, and ears. There is an ongoing debate about the benefits and shortcomings of microchip technology use and screen time for children.
In brief, screen time is the amount of time an individual spends using electronic devices, which has a screen to display. It includes surfing on the internet, using cellphones, watching television, playing video games on the iPod, and working using personal computers. These days several people are affected by electronic gadgets, and children are more inclined to losing opportunities to be active and engaging in outdoor activities. Over time, children encounter low levels of physical movement, which can adversely impact their overall health. Due to their involvement in screen time constantly, people are boosting sedentary activities, which have poor effects on their over all health.
Daily recommendations of screen time depending on the age of the child. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society and Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the following limits of screen time are recommended.
Some examples of impacts of screen use
1. Children who spends more time in front of screen tend to have increase obesity rate.
2. Excessive screen time user child has lower scores of self-esteem and self-worth.
3. Maximum screen time is associated with lower school performance.
4. Screen time is directly related to unhealthy lifestyle practices.
Parental responsibilities to minimize screen time
1. Set a daily recommended limit of screen use
2. Encourage the child to participate in outdoor play and other activities
3. Establish a screen-free zone, for instance, no cell phone use while traveling, kitchen table or while going to eat outside
4. Become a role model to your children
5. Educate your children on appropriate gadget use, purpose, and limit
6. Sit with your children, monitor their work, and praise them for engaging in other activities
7. Provide time for your children.
8. Practice LESS formula with your children
L=Limit snacking at screen
E=Enforce screen time rules
S=Stand more, sit less
S= Socialize away from screen
9. Follow SCREEN Rules
S= Socialize with people
C= Chat with family and friends
R= Read books
E= Exercise daily
E= Eat healthy food
N= No electronic gadgets too much
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To conclude, electronic gadgets make life easier, even though parents must be conscious of their proper use by their children. It is parental responsibility to educate children about the advantages and limitations of using electronic devices, display time, and monitor them correctly to alleviate the issues.
Sources for further review
1. Madigan S. 2019. Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test. JAMA Pediatrics. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2722666
2. Radesky JS. 2015. Mobile and Interactive Media Use by Young Children: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown. Pediatrics. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2014-2251
3. Colley et al. 2011. Physical activity of Canadian children and youth. Accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measurement Survey. Statistics Canada. Vol 22(1).