As adults, we are surrounded by screens in every avenue of our lives. And this is true for our children too. In such a scenario, keeping toddlers and children away from screen time can be a challenge. However, screen time does not always adversely affect our little ones. It can be a great educational tool for learning and socialisation too. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that children under the age of two must not be left passively to watch TV, mobile phones, or tablets. Thus, it is recommended that children over the age of two are exposed to an hour of screen time that includes stories, movement, and music. Gumtree provides the following checklist to help you analyse if your child is using screen time in a healthy manner:
- Is your child sleeping enough?
- Is your child physically and mentally healthy?
- Does your child socialise with friends and family, both online and offline?
- Does your child have other hobbies and interests?
- Is your child involved in physical activities on a daily basis?
- Does your child learn new concepts while using the screen?
If you answered yes to these questions, congrats! Your child is using screen time in a balanced manner. However, there are several disadvantages of toddlers being exposed to excessive screen time:
- Unbalanced screen time can slow down language development.
- It can restrict creative thinking.
- Children who use screens excessively may lack social skills development.
- It can lead to sleep deprivation if used before bedtime.
- Obesity, vision problems, aches and aggression if used in a sedentary manner.