Why not to have longer screen time for your infant ?

Screen time-In the age of Digital and Social media. Almost everyone is seen busy on their social network accounts on phone, tablets or are busy watching their favorite series on television. I am not saying watching television or to have an account on social media is bad thing. In this blog I try to run on the key issues of having long screen times for infants and toddlers.

One of the most essential things to understand is parenting is not an easy task.  Being a parent you have to be focused and alert all time and sometimes you will have to even give up things which you like the most, maybe your favorite matinee show on television or Facebook or twitter update from your favorite artist, friend or relative.

Now a days kids are prone to addiction of Smartphones, Tablets and Television. That is because parents find it easy to indulge their infants in Mobile phones or television at an early age so that they get sometime for themselves. But, mind you this habit can turn bad for your babies. It is rightly said excess of everything is bad so is the screen time for babies.

Do you want to know what impact can longer screen time can have on your Kid?

A new survey has revealed that all infants who have been exposed to phones or television at an early age are tend to develop behavioral issues while growing up, they tend to become irritated or angry when phone is taken away or television is switched off.

Below are the major issues your child can develop due to prolonged access to screen time:

Emotional or behavioral change due to longer screen time

Toddlers whose screen time are longer than 2 hours tend to lose interest in outdoor activities. They tend to become irritated or angry when phone is taken away or television is switched off. They also face issues in interacting with other kids. Research has shown that too much TV time, for instance, can lead to delays in children’s attention, thinking, communication, and social-emotional skills

Speech Issues due extended Screen Time

A recent study that focused on children who were 6 months to 2 years old demonstrated that the more time children used a handheld device each day, the greater the likelihood that they would be delayed in learning to talk.

Sleep Issues due to longer Screen Time

Babies 6 months and older need as much as 15 hours of sleep a day, and toddlers need up to 14 hours. Babies tend to get stimulated if they are exposed to screen time before bed. Pediatricians recommend to keep Television, laptops, IPad, Tablets, Smartphones away from baby’s bedroom. The light emitted by screens may delay melatonin release and actually make it harder to fall asleep.

Obesity and other health related issues due to longer Screen Time:

The longer screen times means your baby is not doing things which is normally expected him to do crawling, walking, exploring things around which means he is not burning his calories and will lead to overweight issues and medical conditions later in life. Involvement of infant in physical play activities outdoor help in building stamina and proper mental and emotional development when baby interact with other kids.

Pediatricians now a days strictly recommend minimal use of electronic devices in front of infants and almost no use of Smartphones or television while feeding babies.

Pediatricians recommend 3-4 hours of physical activity which includes outdoor activities, running, playing to grow healthy.

Why Screen time while feeding a baby is not preferred?

It has been observed that  some babies aged 9 months to 3-4 years only eat food if they having screen time.

That might be because those kids were exposed to smartphones, videos on YouTube, iPad, tablet, TV at an early stage. These kids develop emotional and behavioral issues if they are taken away for these devices. So, it advised never to feed your babies taking help of electronic devices.

Pediatricians recommend these simple rules to control screen time and healthy development of your infants.

  1. Keep Television, laptops, IPad, Tablets, Smartphones away from baby’s bedroom.
  2. Avoid using Television, laptops, IPad, Tablets, Smartphones while feeding babies.
  3. Indulge baby in physical activities like crawling, walking, interacting with other kids around.
  4. Take your kid out on a walk twice daily to setup his routine.
  5. Play a non-electronic game. Try nursery rhymes and finger play games such as peekaboo, pat-a-cake, and Itsy-Bitsy Spider.

The latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend the below Screen times

Age of baby AAP Screen Use Recommendation
Less than 18 months Little or no screen time at all (with the exception of video chatting with family, along with parents)
18 months – 2 years If parents wish to introduce digital media, choose high quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS, that is watched along with parents
2 years and older Limit daily screen time to one hour or less of high quality programming, that is watched along with parents

 

Conclusion

Little or no screen time is recommended for kids below 18 month of age. For kids 18 months to 2 years high quality educational content is recommended to be watched with parents. For kids above 2 years screen time of 1 hour should be strictly adhered. Happy Parenting.

 

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