How Much Screen Time is OK?


How Much Screen Time is OK?

November 14, 2015

Written by: @GabDiesendorf

Staring at the computer screen is not bad for your eyes. Yes, you have read this correctly. Harvard Health Publications published an article in 2009 in which they busted this myth about digital screens damaging your vision. It will definitely make your eye muscles more tired and a bit sore, however, that is about it. It is the equivalent of having sore muscles after any workout, so it causes no permanent damage to your vision. However, this does not mean that prolonged exposure to screens is not without bad consequences. Here is what you should know about it.



The Effects of Too Much Exposure

 The true effects of prolonged screen exposure were recognized as the computer vision syndrome or CVS. It includes tiredness, irritability, problems sleeping, dry eyes, blurred vision, and many other symptoms. These are the commonly known effects that are usual in adults who spend a lot of time working with computers. The kids, however, can experience the same physical symptoms, but the most important ones are the psychological symptoms that they can develop. These include anxiety, depression, weight gain, problems sleeping, and attention problems.

Things You Can Do About It

The first thing that you can do about this is to limit the time spent staring at the screens. For kids, this means limiting the exposure to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other screens that are not necessary for them at any time of the day. Another thing that can be helpful is turning any screen time into valuable screen time. Staring idly into commercials and inappropriate content is not something that should be a reason for exposing yourself to the screen. Besides that, you should encourage kids to move while using the screens. Entice them to dance, play, sing, or move altogether while watching the TV or playing a game.

Age Appropriate Exposure

Up to the age of two, kids should not have any screen time whatsoever. Some people are suggesting that there are videos for kids under the age of two that help with their development, but that is not scientifically proven. You can freely risk that benefit by allowing your child to grow without staring at a screen. When your kid turns 2, you can allow one to two hours a day of screen time. If you find this challenging, set an example as a parent and do it yourself. You children will easily follow your lead.


Good Screen Time

Once you let your kids use the TV or computer, make sure it is good for them. You can allow educational and fun programs or let your kids enjoy the great video games. Fun Brain math games for kids are actually good for your child and they educate as well as entertain children. Also, avoid turning the TV on as a background noise. Silence is not bad and it helps your kids to focus better and master the art of undivided attention.

Children are not slaves to the habits that we have. But, if you expose them to your bad habits, they will definitely make them their own. Your kids will not miss the TV or computer screen time if you don’t make it their habit in the first place. Re-think your own choices and make sure your kids have it better. Screen time is not always bad; at times, it can actually be quite good for your kid. Just do not allow it to become the only thing they give their attention to.

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