Children Health

The Impact of Screen Time on Children’s Health | by Filaantrodigital | Jan, 2024

The Impact of Screen Time on Children’s Health

In today’s technology-driven society, screen time has become an essential component of children’s everyday life. Screens can be found on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions. While technology provides countless educational and entertainment options, concerns have been raised about the possible influence of excessive screen time on children’s health.

According to the Hindu paper, a pan-India survey of 6,229 parents of schoolchildren, aged 6–16, in rural communities across 21 States revealed that more kids used smartphones for entertainment than studying. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the State of Elementary Education in Rural India report in New Delhi on August 8. The report was based on a survey conducted by the Development Intelligence Unit (DIU), a collaboration between Transform Rural India and Sambodhi Research and Communications.

The survey revealed that 49.3% of students in rural India have access to smartphones. However, among the parents whose children have access to gadgets, 76.7% stated that their children primarily use mobile phones to play video games. Of the students with access to gadgets, 56.6% used the devices for downloading and watching movies, while 47.3% used them to download and listen to music, the survey said. Only 34% use gadgets for study downloads, and 18% accessed online learning via tutorials.

This has become the condition of children addicted to mobile devices. The extreme use of mobile had increased during the pandemic and it continues today eventually affecting the health of children. Too many hours spent on screens might disrupt a child’s sleep. The bright lighting on screens might make it difficult for youngsters to fall asleep at night. Quality sleep is essential for growing bodies and developing brains, therefore children should get a decent night’s rest. Even sitting in one spot for an extended period while using a screen can result in decreased physical activity. Running, playing, and getting around are all necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Too much screen time may limit children’s time spent being active, affecting their general well-being.

Furthermore, too much screen time might harm a child’s social life. Spending too much time on devices may result in less time conversing and playing with friends and family. Establishing solid relationships with others is critical for a child’s emotional and social growth. Additionally, excessive screen time might strain a child’s eyes. Long periods of staring at screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and weariness. It is critical to take breaks and look away from the screen to allow their eyes to rest.

Parents should set screen time for children like children under age 2 should not be given mobile, children above 2 or over screen limit could be limited to one hour. It is also necessary for parents to keep an eye on what children are watching, and make them engaged in other activities. Other measures that can be taken are to not let the child eat while watching TV or on mobile devices and suggest other activities such as board games, puzzles, or going for a walk, this can help their physical and cognitive development.

While screens can be amusing and educational, it’s important to limit the amount of time youngsters spend on them. Maintaining a healthy balance between screen time and other activities is critical for children’s decent sleep, physical activity, social relationships, and general well-being.

Filaantro along with Child Help Foundation considers the importance of technological advancement for today’s children and also takes the requirements for digital availability in rural schools for underprivileged children hence they can have a brighter future.

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