You’d be hard pressed to find a kid under the age of 10 these days that doesn’t have either a tablet, smart phone or personal computer. But is too much technology dangerous for developing brains?
Benefits and Risks of Screen Time for Kids
Learning is now interactive, it’s pretty common for school aged kids to be toting around laptops, tablets and other learning devices. Of course, allowing your child to be exposed to educational material on a device is great but how often is technology used to control a child rather than educate? Generation Z was the first to be exposed to video games, smart phones and social media basically from birth. They are thought to be one of the most socially engaged generations yet, with teenagers taking an interest in social issues, climate change and gender equality. This has a lot to do with the fact they are tech babies. They know how to navigate, research and form opinions, in large part because they have easy access to materials. If they want to know about the latest climate change statistics, they can simply whip out their phone and Google it. What are the downsides to expertly knowing your way around the internet?
One of the biggest downsides to increased screen time in young people is the knock on affect it has on physical activity. Playing outside has been replaced with video games, hanging out with friends is now texting. Which then has other implications on their ongoing health and wellness. Will future generations play outside at all?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for kids aged under 2 years.
- Elevated rates of screen time is associated with lower levels of physical activity
- Staring at a screen for prolonged periods of time can result in sore and irritated eyes, headaches and fatigue
- Making screen time something you do as a family with your young children is thought to be better than solo screen time.
So, Is Technology Bad For Kids?
Just like pretty much everything in life, it’s all about balance. Setting boundaries and rules in place for screen time just like you would anything else is essential. Limiting screen time for young kids to just educational material is a good option. Does a 5 year-old really need to watch YouTube videos for three hours a day? Probably not. Encouraging outdoor play is also vital to ensuring your child doesn’t become addicted to technology.
What do you think LiveTribers? Do kids spend too much time on their devices these days or do you think it’s inevitable for kids to be online?