How does watching screen affect your child?

The current generation of kids are growing up on a staple dose of phones tablets and other internet- based devices.

One hour of screen time a day is associated with higher consumption of high fat and high sugar food.

If you watch TV for two hours or more it is associated with and increased chance of becoming overweight among 3 year olds.

School aged kids who spend more than the recommended time in front of TV/ computers/X-box do worse in school in comparison to their peers.

Screen time also affects sleep. Screen time causes irregular sleep schedules in infants and kids between ages 6 to 12.

Delayed language development is another effect of screen time for kids under the age of three.
If you are an adolescent, screen time is associated with increased hyperactivity, emotional disturbances and poor school performance.

Why does screen time affect kids?

Brain imaging has shown us that the outermost layer of the brain starts getting thin prematurely. This part of the brain processes different types of information from the senses.

Langauge and mental skills that a child would need for academics would get affected.

When you keep playing online games regularly and watch Instagram feed routinely you get a certain type of reward. It makes the brain believe that you can try over and over again to win that reward. A Childs brain lacks the self-control ability to stop themselves from this obsessive behaviour of wanting to check social media frequently or to stop themselves from attempting gaming.

When you watch screen at night from a smartphone it emits something called a blue light, which stops the secretion of a chemical in your body called melatonin. Less of melatonin in the body will disrupt your sleep cycle. In order to develop your brain adequately you need to sleep well.

If you lack deep sleep (REM Sleep) you lose the ability to put things into the storage part of your brain and you cannot pull out information from your brain when you need to. So, you may be listening to your science teacher but you may not be able to memorise facts and retrieve them when necessary.

What is the recommended screen time?

It is recommended that you show no screen time for children below 2 and 5 to 17 year olds can be given a maximum of 2 hours of screen time per day (watching TV, computer, messaging friends).

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