Marshall Clinical Expert | April 25, 2024 | Mental Health Therapy

Screen Time for Kids: Finding Balance

Finding balance behind a screen. Why it's important and ways that we all play a part.

It's no secret that electronics have become a significant part of EACH of our everyday lives. Due to the fact that we are constantly surrounded by technology, whether that be in our homes, at work, or out and about, it's been rather hard to avoid screens.

According to the CDC, during the Pandemic, the average usage of screen time in children increased anywhere from 2-4 hours in length. Data indicates that the usage of TV and cell phone equates to an unhealthy amount of up to SEVEN hours spent in front of the screen for "play", which does not include time at school or for the purpose of education. Ultimately, the time spent behind a screen takes away the time that is necessary to spend being active. It is suggested that children partake in a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity EACH and every day to lessen the risk of obesity.

playing outside

Other effects of too much screen time may include or be directly linked to:

  1. Irregular sleep

  2. Behavior problems

  3. Impaired academic performance

  4. Violence

  5. Less time for creative or active play

Why moderation is KEY:

While usage of screen time in this day and age is rather inevitable, moderation is absolutely key. Avoiding screen time nearly entirely is suggested by healthcare professionals for children that are under the age of two. After the age of two, it is recommended to keep screen time to two hours or less per day. Some ways you can limit screen time is to avoid screens when getting ready for school, at the dinner table while eating, when doing homework if it's not necessary, or right before bedtime.

When keeping screen time in moderation, a child can best learn things such as letters, shapes, colors, and numbers, explore their interests and build communication skills. A few ways that parents or guardians can ensure that screen time is beneficial or engaging can be done by:

  1. Planning out what a child views or giving them a few options

  2. Watch with your child

  3. Record programs and watch them at the appropriate time

  4. Encourage screen time that promotes education and engagement

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