Growing Up in The Digital age

TECHNOLOGY & YOUNG CHILDREN By- Diya Randhawa

What is "SCREEN TIME"?

"Screen time" is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games as well as using smartphones

Different screens a child might interact with & how?

SMART PHONES:
  • Calling
  • Apps
  • Photos
  • Music
  • Skyping

TOYS:

  • Playing with them
  • Using their imagination to create real life situations
  • Communicating
GAME CONSOLES:
  • Learn how to use a controller
  • Meet other players
T.V:
  • Learn how to use a remote
  • Sing
  • Dance
i-Pads/ Computers/ Tablets:
  • Apps
  • Type
  • Draw

Statistics & Screentime

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What the Experts Say:

When children spend time in front of screens whether it’s the TV, computer or smartphone it takes away from the time they could spend doing other activities that are more interactive.

Australia’s Physical Activity Recommendations recommend that 5-18 year old's accumulate no more than 2 hours of screen time a day for entertainment should spend no more than 2 hours each day on screen entertainment and long periods of screen usage should be avoided even though computers, TV and other technologies can be valuable as a tool for education and learning, .

Guidelines for children under five have recommend that children younger than 2 years do not have any screen time and for children 2-5 years less than 1 hour per day.

How Much Screen Time Is Too Much for Kids?

The Positives of Screen Time Use with Young Children

Technology can have many advantages on a child's development but in order for this to happen the use of technology must be structured and supervised by parents/ caregivers.


Here are 10 ways children can benefit from technology and active screen time:


  1. Better Hand-Eye Coordination
  2. Improves Language Skills
  3. Promotes School Readiness and Cognitive Development
  4. Higher Capacity for Visual Attention
  5. Enhances Social Interaction Skills
  6. Increases Motivation to Complete Tasks
  7. Research Skills
  8. Develops Problem Solving Skills
  9. Expands Horizons
  10. Develops Skills and Talents
*A wide range of activities is important for a child’s development, activities children can participate in include active physical play, creative and imaginative play that is engaging,as well as interactions with real people.

The Negatives of Screen Time Use with Young Children

Technology can have many disadvantages on a child's development as well especially if the use of technology isn't structured or supervised by parents/ caregivers it can also lead to many health concerns.


Here are 7 ways technology can negatively effect children that have too much screen time:


  1. Sleep Deprivation
  2. Obesity
  3. Vision Problems
  4. Aches & Pains
  5. Loss of Face-to-Face Social Skills
  6. Attention Problems- Anxiety & Depression
  7. Aggression
Negative Effect of Technology On Children

Quick Fact!!!

Research has found that "screen time" can change our brains. It has to do with a chemical in our brain called dopamine. Scientists suggest that when we're using smart technology that chemical is released, that makes us feel happy, and it makes us want to use smart technology more often.

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Why are the Recommended Suggested Screen Time use for Children in place?

The recommended suggested screen time use for children is in place so that children can have a balance between their screen time and other engaging activities. These recommendations help prevent children from developing health conditions and their skills and abilities from deteriorating as well as for psychological and educational benefits.
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Why Parents May Not Stick to Recommendations ?

Parents make may not stick to recommendations because they use technology as a:


  • Babysitter
  • To distract the child
  • Occupy the child
  • For the educational value of technology
  • To control a child's tantrum

Strategies to Overcome this:

In order for parents to avoid not following the recommendations they must:

  • Remove the TV or computer from your child's bedroom.
  • DO NOT allow TV watching during meals or homework.
  • DO NOT let your child eat while watching TV or using the computer.
  • DO NOT leave the TV on for background noise. Turn on the radio instead, or have no background noise.
  • Decide which programs to watch ahead of time. Turn off the TV when those programs are over.
  • Suggest other activities, such as family board games, puzzles, or going for a walk.
  • Keep a record of how much time is spent in front of a screen. Try to spend the same amount of time being active.
  • Be a good role model as a parent. Decrease your own screen time to 2 hours a day.
  • If it is hard not having the TV on, try using a sleep function so it turns off automatically.
  • Challenge your family to go 1 week without watching TV or doing other screen-time activities.
  • Find things to do with your time that get you moving and burning energy

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References:

  1. DigiParentHodd. 2013. Benefits of Exposing Young Children to Modern Technology. [ONLINE] Available at: https://digiparenthood.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/10-benefits-of-exposing-young-children-to-modern-technology/. [Accessed 3 June 2016]
  2. Raising Children.net.au. 2016. Kids Screen Time. [ONLINE] Available at:http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/screen_time.html. [Accessed 3 June 2016].
  3. Natural Blaze. 2016. Negative Effects Of Too Much Screen Time For Kids. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.naturalblaze.com/2015/12/6-negative-effects-of-too-much-screen-time-for-kids.html. [Accessed 4 June 2016].
  4. MedicinePlus. 2015. Screen Time and Children. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm. [Accessed 4 June 2016].
  5. Psychology Today. 2013. Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain. [Accessed 5 June 2016]
  6. All Pictures/images were acquired from GOOGLE IMAGES
  7. Information- acquired from Diya Randhawa's Child Studies Book