Screen Time & Kids

It is virtually impossible to avoid screen time in today’s technology-driven world, but experts say that even adults should attempt to limit their screen time outside of work to under two hours per day, and for good reason. Too much screen time for anyone can lead to headaches, eye strain, neck, shoulder and back pain, poor sleep and insomnia. 

The more time we spend looking at a screen, the less time we have for healthy, face-to-face interaction with friends and family, and the more sedentary our lifestyle – at any age – tends to become. Scientists have even discovered that screen time in large amounts can alter the very structure of our brain, limiting cognitive function. That’s scary stuff and it can be even scarier for children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages screen time, except for video chatting, for children up to 18 months and limited to under an hour a day for children from two to five years of age. As parents, of course, how much you limit your child’s screen time is completely up to you, but here are some more facts you may want to note: 

The reduction of physical activity caused by excessive screen time can lead to obesity, health issues such as heart disease and poor social development. Because children have larger pupils, researchers have found that the blue light from screens may be worse for children than adults; and extended direct exposure to blue light can actually cause retinal damage. Additionally, excessive use of a cell phone or computer keyboard can cause repetitive use injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.