Holiday tips: How too much screen time affects wellbeing of children and teens : Evewoman - The Standard
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Holiday tips: How too much screen time affects wellbeing of children and teens

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The holidays are here with us and for parents, school going children are back and will be around for over two months. As much as many want to keep them occupied, most parents are busy during these seasons with work and the children spend their time flipping TV channels, chatting with their friends or just surfing the internet.

To a large extent, your child will be getting too much screen time during this period.Screen time basically refers to how long one spends their day using devices with screens, like TVs, video consoles, smartphones and tablets.

The amount of time your child or teen spends on gadgets may seem harmless but research shows it has several disadvantages to its name. Some of the negative effects that you should consider in a bid to reduce your child’s screen time include;

Physical effects

When your child spends a lot of time on screen, it disrupts their normal body, work cycle. Some of these changes include;

Sleeping patterns - Children who spend much time on screen are likely to have unusual sleeping patterns which may eventually turn into insomnia.

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Eye problems - Too much exposure to the high-energy blue light emitted from gadgets may lead to computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain all which affect your child’s eye health for long.

Spine problems - Looking at a gadget for a long time may leave your child with neck and spinal problems due to the lengthy leaning associated with long term device use.

Obesity- A lot of screen time means your child does not move a lot. They eat and stay in one spot glued to their screen and this may contribute to weight issues brought about by lack of exercise.

Social problems

Staring at a screen for over eight hours on gadgets may give your child a sense of interaction with other users from different parts of the world.

This however does not apply to the real life interaction and so your child may end up shying away from real meet and greet situations.

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Spending time gaming, watching film and chatting with others does not build your child’s interaction and so they might have problems conversing with other people in the real world.

Let them make real friends, create relationships with others and interact.

Psychological and development issues

While the internet is loaded with a lot of educative material, there is no filter or limit to what your child can and will access while at it. From dangerous messages to unrated content, your child could have all the access to violence, abuse, sexual content like pornography, emerging religious doctrines just to mention a few. Whatever your child is exposed to with or without your knowledge may end up defining a major part of who they grow into.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke

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