October 5, 2017
ARTICLE:

Excessive screen use and our kids

By Tommy Tran

With advancing technology, our children seem to be spending more and more time using screens. The American academy of Paediatrics recommends NO screen time for children less than 2 years of age, and a maximum of 2 hours for children older than 2 years.  But how does excessive screen time effect our children physically, developmentally and psychologically.

Physically, there is a relationship between the amount of screen use and reduced physical activity, reduced strength, increased high calorie food consumption, increased levels of obesity and difficulties with sleep. The mere presence of a screen in the bedroom can decrease the amount your child sleeps by an average of 20 minutes…even if it isn’t turned on.

Developmentally, toddlers who watch 2-3 hours of television are 2.7 times more likely to have a speech and language delay. Toddlers with higher levels of screen use are more likely to have difficulties at school with reduced vocabulary, lower levels of numeracy and decreased classroom engagement.

Psychologically, excessive screen use in toddlers has been shown to increase emotional reactivity, aggression and externalising behaviours. Increased screen use is positively correlated with higher levels of anxiety and depression in teenagers.

There are some benefits of screens though. Young children who watch shows with their parents have improved vocabulary. A small amount of social media use in adolescents improves socialisation.

Even though some screen use has been shown to be beneficial, it is important to put limits in place. Here are my 4 simple tips:

  1. Model good behaviour – limit your own screen use to 2 hours a day
  2. Designate some screen free times as a family e.g. meal times
  3. Remove all screen from the bedroom and charge devices in the kitchen
  4. Watch shows together as this stimulates discussion and engagement

Good luck!

Have you used our service? We are always looking for ways to improve so please take the time to complete our survey.

 

Does my child need to see a ...
The first five years of your child’s life are critical for brain development. Early stimulation from all senses create the foundations for learning ...
National Disability Insurance ...
As many of you may be aware, the NDIS has started its roll out throughout Queensland. In fact there are over 7,000 people enrolled in Queensland ...
Excessive screen use and our kids
With advancing technology, our children seem to be spending more and more time using screens. The American academy of Paediatrics recommends NO ...
Fidgets
  The fidget spinners craze has been incredible to watch however it has led to some confusion around 'fidgets' and how they might ...
Living with eczema
What is eczema?  Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a very common inflammatory condition of the skin. While the causes are not well understood, eczema ...
Mindfulness: Can it help my ...
It is hard to escape all the talk about Mindfulness. In fact, it is being mentioned so much in mainstream media that it would be easy to dismiss it ...
Let’s talk about anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is the most severe and potentially dangerous type of allergic reaction. It is especially serious as it usually affects multiple bodily ...
What about the flu vaccine if my ...
Vaccinating your children is very important to reduce the risk of them developing serious infections such as measles, meningococcal disease or ...
Introduction of Solids
Avoiding allergenic foods in infancy and allergy In 2008, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommended early childhood avoidance of highly ...
ASCIA Guidelines for the ...
ASCIA GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ALLERGIES Maternal Diet in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Excluding foods from maternal diet in ...
Food Intolerance
IS IT INTOLERANCE OR ALLERGY? Food allergy is an immune reaction to foods. Food intolerance is better understood as a chemical sensitivity which is ...
Tongue-Ties in Newborns
A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a short, thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue (lingual frenulum) which restricts the movement of the tongue ...
How do you diagnose epilepsy?
Seizures are quite common in the Australian population.
Eczema tips and tricks
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is an extremely common condition in children.
Chromosomal microarray testing in ...
With the increase incidence in autism, there has been more research into the potential causes for autism
What do you do after a diagnosis ...
With more people being diagnosed with Autism, what do you need to do after your child has been given a diagnosis?
What does an autism assessment ...
What does an Autism Assessment does actually entail?
Coughing in children
What are the common causes of coughing?
Bed Wetting
About 5% of children aged nine to ten still wet the bed.
Anxiety in Children
Anxious behaviours are common in children.