How much screen time is healthy?

Parents are suggested to expose their kids to various sights, sounds, smells etc. in order to facilitate development in the first 2 years of their life. 

In the modern world, it is extremely hard to keep the screen time for kids regulated. Laptops, TV, mobile phones, tablets are all so easily available that every kid knows their way around them by the age of 3. It is the most convenient option for parents, afterall it is very hard to keep your toddler entertained throughout the day! 

According to extensive research conducted by the Indian academy of pediatrics, here are screen time recommendations by age: 

  • children younger than 1 year should not have any screen time with exception of video calls. 
  • Toddlers from 1-2 years can have screen time of around15 to 30 minutes, under the guidance of a parent or caregiver. 
  • When your child is 2-3 years old, they can have screen time of around 1 hour 
  • From the age of 5 and beyond, it is advised to regulate the screen time to 1-2 hours per day. 

What is the impact of excessive scrolling and screen time? 

  • The light of the screen disrupts the sleep cycle and has an  adverse effect on their eyes 
  • Behavior imitation: When they are exposed to a particular kind of video on the internet it is only natural for them to imitate the same. Cartoon songs and videos although meant for kids may not always be in the best interest for children on the spectrum since they tend to show obsession and repetitive behaviour around the same including repeating the songs/ lines in normal conversation. 
  • Lack of interest in people: If they know there’s an alternative to being around people then children might start to become more stubborn about getting to use the screen during meal time,  before bed etc. 
  • Educational issues. Children spend more time watching a cartoon or listening to songs, since it is a passive self stimulating activity. You can’t expect your child to be watching or engaging in educational material by himself. Thus, effectively they end up learning nothing from the experience. 

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