As the world has developed into an online community it has fixated our young ones to its screens for longer period of time. Many a times this fixation crosses into the unhealthy zone and starts adversely affecting a child’s academic performance and night sleep patterns. ‘Screen time’ is a term used for time frame that someone spends in front of Television, mobile, laptops, and other such digital medias. This time is spent in a physically inactive manner while using least possible energy. Too much sedentary activity can lead to various health problems such as,
- Obesity i.e. gaining too much weight
- Insomnia i.e. inability to sleep well at night
- Lethargy i.e. sluggishness, tiredness and lack of energy
- Eye problems i.e. too much pressure on eyes can result in need for glasses or in some cases lead to eye disorientation.
- Back problem due to ad posture
Some other problems associated with prolong screen time are:
- Children tend to develop anxiety and depression because of lack of attention provided by any other individual. Gadgets can never take the place of a parent.
- Unhealthy choices are made due to persistent hammering of advertisements.
- Unnecessary eating habit while watching TV or surfing the internet.
- Prolong screen time means little to no social contact thus leading to poor social skills in kids.
Children tend to be attracted to these screens much more easily than adults. Parents are now concerned about their kids not leaving the screen for any fun activity outside their rooms. Children now prefer the online world for it opens a new world to them. They are constantly on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, video games, and other such websites.
Installing a screen limit app is one of the most effective ways to help a child get out of the addiction they have developed for the online world. It also helps a parent regulate the time spent by the child on phone to help them focus on other activities such as homework, sports, etc. These apps are designed to help a parent remotely monitor the amount of screen time their kids are spending on their mobile devices. A parent can set timer to limit the daily screen time and will automatically shut them out once the time limit has been reached. Most of these apps not only help a parent control the time the child spends on the phone but also allow parents to block apps that they deem unfit.
Some of the most recognised screen limit apps are:
- Kids Place
- Screen Time
- Social Fever
These apps work on iOS and android phones. Apple has its own Screen Time and App Limits features.
It is a false belief that online videos can enhance a child’s development while in realty active physical learning activities are much more beneficial to them. While we cannot completely eliminate screen time of a child, these apps are highly beneficial for parents in monitoring their media use and helping them understand how much is a screen dominant in the child’s life.