How Much Screen Time is Too Much for Your Child?

How Much Screen Time is Too Much for Your Child?

If you have children, then you will know how difficult it is to avoid screens. Although smart phones and computers do offer many benefits to your child’s learning, too much screen time is becoming a growing concern for parents.

Studies show that excessive screen time can have a negative impact on a child’s health and development. Therefore, it is important for parents to put a limit on screen time at home and monitor the type of content their children are viewing.

Understanding the dangers of too much screen time can help parents to establish a more practical approach. To help you learn more, here is some useful information from an independent college in Hitchin

What are the dangers of too much screen time?

brown and white long coated small dog wearing eyeglasses on black laptop computer
Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

Research suggests that excessive screen time can affect a child’s physical and mental health. This is because it consumes time which could be spent socialising, learning and exercising. Other negative effects of too much screen time include:

Poor health

woman in black long sleeve shirt holding white smartphone
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When screen time increases, this usually means physical activity decreases. Lack of physical exercise can lead to weight gain and other health related problems.

Vision and posture problems

smiling girl sitting beside road
Photo by Kayan Baby on Unsplash

Looking at a screen for long periods of time can lead to eye strain and headaches. Children may also complain of neck and back pain, caused by poor posture habits when using their devices.

Behaviour issues

selective focus photography of girl crying
Photo by Arwan Sutanto on Unsplash

Excessive screen time can also lead to emotional, social and attention problems. Furthermore, without the proper parental controls in place children can be exposed to inappropriate or violent content online.

Disturbed sleep

boy lying on bed while raising left hand near his mouth
Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash

Screen time before bed can lead to sleeping difficulties. This is due to the blue light that is emitted from digital devices. Studies have found that this type of light suppresses our melatonin production, which is a sleep-promoting hormone.

What can you do to reduce screen time?

woman in black and white striped shirt carrying baby in orange shirt
Photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash

If you feel that your child is spending too much time on their screens, then you will need to set a screen time limit. Here is where parents need to set a good example and limit their own screen time too! This means putting away your mobile phone and encouraging more family activities.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that your child is getting enough physical activity, away from their devices. Make time to explore the outdoors with your child and try ‘unplugged’ family evenings and weekends.

It may be unrealistic to prevent your child from using their devices completely, but encouraging them to enjoy other activities will help to look after their mental and physical wellbeing.

How Much Screen Time is Too Much for Your Child?

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26 comments

  1. This is something we struggle with in out house. My son lives for his PlayStation. He is hitting 13 and becoming moody and difficult so it’s almost easier.

    I work full time and blog when I’m home so I’m very rarely off the screen either so it’s hard to preach.

    I need to really think about how I will make this work for us. Thank you for sharing x

  2. I think it can be hard to strike the right balance between enough and too much. My kids homework is now all online so they get tired of looking at screens.

  3. I find my children’s behavior changes when they have too much screen time so I tend to create a time when they are allowed to use and whey they are not so they don’t get addicted to electronic gadgets.

  4. I think when it comes to screen time it is all about finding the right balance for your family and your child. Just like us adults, our kids need their down time too and if they choose to spend that chilling in front of a screen it can be really hard to say no. In our house we try to give them time limits but they can use that time whenever they want to throughout the day. We also try to get out and about when we can even if its just for a little walk for some fresh air. Just like most things I think it is all about balance xx

    1. We were the same, we never used to monitor screen time but used to make sure they did other things and get outside and have fun as well

  5. I’m going to be honest I need to reduce my screen time as I look at a computer all day for work then spend time watching TV, blogging or on my phone around that. So it must be tough for kids as well especially when they’re not able to go outside as much at the moment x

    1. I am the same if I am honest as well, when the kids were younger luckily C and one of the boys loved beng outside but the eldest I used to have to drag him out or he would be sat in front of a screen

  6. We try to avoid too much screen time with the kids although this can sometimes be easier said than done. We try to get out as much as possible.

  7. It’s a shame no matter what you say children don’t quite get it when it comes to screen time. I do try to find distractions for mine to help reduce this.

  8. I think when it comes to screen time it is all about finding the right balance for your family and your child. Not an easy tusk to monitor at all.

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