What does too much screen time do to a child?

The average child watches 3 hours of television every day. However, all sorts of screen time might add up to 5 to 7 hours per day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to limit their children’s screen usage to one or two hours per day for children older than two years.

We all know that kids now, more than ever, have easy access to screens. But how do screens affect the development of young children?

Young children learn through exploring their surroundings, watching and copying the adults in their lives. Excessive screen time may impair a child’s capacity to see and engage in the commonplace activities that they need to engage in, in order to learn about the world. According to research, speaking with children in a reciprocal dialogue is critical for language development and social engagement. In everyday life, rather than “passive” listening or one-way engagement with a screen, it’s that back-and-forth “conversation,” exchanging facial gestures and responding to the other person, that enhances language and speech abilities in young kids.

[blockquote style=”blockquote_style2″ align=”aligncenter” textcolor=”#7a637a” background=”#ffffff” bordercolor = “#c8a2c8″]“There is also some evidence that children who watch a lot of television during the early elementary school years perform less well on reading tests and may show deficits in attention.”  – Dr. Jennifer Cross[/blockquote]

The issue with mobile devices is that they entice you to use them, and we all know how simple it is to waste time on the internet. We can’t live without them since they’re so portable and pervasive. We should also be cautious of utilizing screens to divert a child’s attention away from an issue rather than letting them figure it out and learn to fix it on their own.

Too much screen time is often linked to problems

Irregular sleep patterns

When the sun goes down, our circadian rhythms and release of melatonin, the sleep hormone come in. Blue light from screens, on the other hand, suppresses melatonin, which can cause sleep disruption. Children who spend more time in front of a screen are more likely to have problems falling asleep or have an erratic sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation can cause weariness and an increase in eating.


Children can get desensitised to violence if they are exposed to it too much through the media. As a result, youngsters may come to embrace violent behaviour as a normal means of resolving conflicts.

Behavioural issues

Elementary students who spend more than two hours a day watching television, playing video games, or using a computer or smartphone are more likely to have emotional, social, or attention issues.

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Academic performance issues

Elementary pupils who have televisions or other screens in their beds perform worse in examinations than those who do not.


Your child’s chance of being overweight increases as he or she watches more TV and video. The presence of a television or other electronic devices in a child’s room further raises the danger. Children can also develop a taste for junk food advertised in advertisements and overeat while watching television.

How can parents limit screen time for kids?

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1. If feasible, sit and watch screens with your child

If your children are going to have screen time, the greatest thing you can do is sit with them and watch the show or game with them so they can grasp what they’re watching. Make observations and ask questions about what is going on.

2. Select media with care

Look for reviews of age-appropriate apps, games, and programs from organisations like Common Sense Media to help you make the best choices for your children.

3. Limit how much time you spend on your phone

Children will imitate what they observe their parents do. Because their parents are the most significant people in their lives while they are young, they will emulate any behaviour they witness. If they see you sitting in front of a screen all day, every day, they’ll think it’s normal and want to do the same.


Children can watch nearly anything on the internet because it is mostly uncontrolled; at best, there is no instructional benefit, and at worst, it can be violent or indecent content. The ideal course of action is to watch alongside the child so that the parent is actively involved in picking appropriate and informative stuff.


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