Kids are very addicted to Gadgets nowadays.
Apart from school, what is your child occupied with for an average of seven hours every day? Every one of our answers would either be computer, TV or mobile devices. Kids spend around 49 hours per week with any of these electronic devices which is more than the quality time they spend with their parents! There is no age limitation for this and even children under 2 years of age are glued to the television for around 1 to2 hours every day.
Kids spend more time in front of screens that you think. Ask your kids these simple questions: Do you watch TV while getting ready to go out? Are you engaged with your mobile while eating your breakfast or waiting for the bus? Do you play games or access your mobile before bedtime? Don’t be surprised by their answers.
Adverse Effects of Prolonged Screen Time
Once you keep your kids away from the TV set or other screens, you will see the positive change in their nutrition consumption. Esteemed pediatric societies caution parents against the various risks and health problems associated with increased screen time. Studies also show that watching TV is one of the factors that lead to obesity in children. A TV in your child’s bedroom is even more dangerous as his/her chance of being overweight is doubled.
The fancy television advertisements affect the amount and types of foods that children eat. It has also been found that non-nutritious food and screen time are related to each other, boosting calorie intake.
Spending more time in front of the TV has its effect: Adults and children do not burn extra calories as they do not spend their time in some sports activity, biking or doing some chores. Limiting screen time paves the way for many other activities, including physical activity.
Engage in other Healthier Activities
Follow these tips to limit screen time of your entire family:
- Kids aged 2 and above should spend a maximum of two hours in front of the TV or other electronic media. It is in the best interest of the child to avoid any screen time for kids below 2 years of age.
- Never fix a television in your kids’ bedroom or get a dedicated mobile/tablet for your kid and establish a media-use plan for your family that includes curfews at bedtimes.
- Allow televisions and devices only during an occasional family movie or pizza night. On other days, involve yourself in healthy conversations that would bring a positive change for the entire family. This way you eat nutritious and healthy food as well.
- Allow your kids to select their favourite TV shows, giving them a sense of control and helping them make decisions. Supervise their show list and give them company whenever you can.