Screen Time and Young Children
*As part of our ongoing series on kid’s fashion, a few of our pieces will also focus on kid’s health and lifestyle. Kids come first at Tiny Tycoon.
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The sight of young toddlers and kids either watching TV or playing on a tablet/mobile phone is fairly common today. Technology has that effect on them and as a result, some stay glued to the screen for long durations. With modern technology and portable screen devices, it is almost impossible to regulate screen time. Excessive screen time can have health implications for toddlers and young kids. Health experts and doctors advise against screen time for toddlers. A research finding published in the JAMA Pediatrics highlights that toddlers with more screen time develop slower.
When Can Children Get Screen Time?
The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly recommend against any screen time around babies or toddlers up to 18 months of age. Likewise, the Canadian Pediatric Society recommends no screen time for children until the age of two.
As they grow older, an hour of screen time is ideal for ages two to five. These initial years are extremely crucial for young minds, and they should spend more time exploring the environment around them. Sleep and physical activity are an integral part of a toddler’s development and too much screen time can cause them to neglect it. Also, avoid any screen time before bedtime. This ensures toddlers have enough time to wind down for their sleep and their brain is not wired.
While duration and age are important factors, the content plays a critical factor in deciding if screen time is good for toddlers. Ensure your kid watches age-appropriate quality content, educational programming, and plays interactive games that can help develop their skills. Always be present with your toddler as they watch or play anything on a screen.
Remember a screen is not an electronic babysitter. Help them understand what they are seeing and why. Designate screen-free zones and times in the house. For instance, dinner time or the bedroom. Finally, also consider the screen time of adults in the house to set an example.
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This said screen time also has its pros. Video calling is an important tool in connecting and interacting with more relatives and friends. Research video content, apps, and games beforehand. Educational, developmental, and quality content always helps. Ease them into programs and always set consistent limits. Remember to ‘turn the screen off’ yourself and encourage the child in social and physical interaction.
There is so much to the immediate world around us. Use screens as a supporting tool for development and set limits to duration and content.