Screen time affects children’s physical, emotional growth

Kids’ screen time has risen alarmingly during the pandemic
Nov 19, 2020
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Online learning during the pandemic has increased children’s screen time, resulting in behavioural changes that may persist even after we go back to school, according to a new study.

Screen time is the measurement of how many minutes or hours a person spends using devices such as mobiles, tablets, television and computers.

Since classes went online, children have been spending more time in front of screens. They play outside less as well.

“Screen time has a significant impact on a child’s emotional and physical growth,” Zainab Barry, a Karachi-based psychologist and hypnotherapist, told SAMAA Digital.

She said that it is important for children to channel their energy physically, and more than two hours of screen time may result in tiredness, emotional outbursts, and loss of focus.

When asked if blue light filters prevent eye strain, Barry said it helps only temporarily.

“No matter what the colour, a screen is a screen.”

According to her, a healthy way to reduce screen time is not by imposing restrictions on children, but by disciplining them.

“Restrictions can be stressful to some children,” said Barry. “Parents can start with engaging their kids in physical activities.”

Limiting screen time for children under the age of five will result in healthier adults, according to the World Health Organisation. In order to develop better habits, children should exercise more and take proper sleep.

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