Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable Strategies

Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable Strategies
May 29th, 2024 | chiropractic care | Comments Off on Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable Strategies

Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable Strategies

Did you know that children between 8-12 years old spend, on average, four to six hours a day behind a screen?. This is a big issue in Australia currently. With a rise in digital education and entertainment, screens are an almost unavoidable part of our daily lives and a large part of our future—but what impact is this having on children’s minds and bodies?

Too much screen time can lead to:

  • Posture problems
  • Eye strain
  • Reduced physical activity
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Reduced literacy
  • Inadequate social skills
  • ADHD type behavior

The good news is that there are simple ways to keep screen time from causing physical or emotional harm. Below, we detail 8 tips to help you protect your child’s mind and body—and keep healthy screen time boundaries in place.

8 Tips for Safer Screen Time

Consider these ideas and strategies to help you manage your child’s screen time so they can grow up with a balanced view of technology, a strong mind and body, and a healthy approach to screen time.

1. Set Time Limits

Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable StrategiesLimiting access to devices when possible is a great way to protect your child from the dangers of too much screen time. Decide these limits as a family and be consistent in enforcing them. There will likely be some complaining initially, but it’ll be worth it.

2. Change Positions

To protect your child’s posture and help them avoid stiffness or pain, teach your child to shift their position while using a tablet or phone. Encourage them to lie on their tummy for a while, shift from right to left if they lie on one side, and move from sitting to standing (with their tablet on a table).

Other key considerations include not holding the screen too close to their face—which causes eye strain—or in their lap while they’re sitting—which hunches their shoulders. The goal should be to keep the device as close to eye level as possible.

3. Encourage Active Screen Time

Screen Time for Kids: 8 Safe and Sustainable StrategiesIf your child enjoys video games, encourage role play or virtual reality games that get their whole body moving. Be willing to move furniture out of the way if necessary.

4. Offer Other Entertainment

Ensure your child has access to other forms of entertainment like books, a bicycle, outdoor space if possible, cooking, toys, art supplies, and board games. Encourage regular screen time breaks so your children can enjoy a variety of activities. These options will be more appealing if you can spend some time enjoying them together at times.

5. Avoid Screens Before Bed

Prolonged blue light exposure leads to eye strain and interrupts the body’s natural process of forming melatonin—a sleep hormone. To ensure that your child doesn’t struggle to fall asleep, remove all screens from your child for at least an hour before bedtime.

6. Use Blue Light Filters

Another way to combat the negative effects of blue light is to add blue light filters to your children’s devices—many of these have built-in options, but you can add a physical screen protector if necessary.

7. Monitor Content

There is a shocking amount of harmful material on the web, not to mention cyber-bullies or distracting social media platforms. Take a keen interest in your child’s screen time, encourage educational shows, and consider parental controls and apps that help you protect your child from harmful influences.

8. Lead By Example

This is probably the toughest tip. Consider your own screen time and set a good example for your children by limiting your time on your phone. Instead, enjoy hobbies and physical activities, and spend time with your family—face to face.

If you’re concerned that your child has posture problems or poor muscle strength—from prolonged screen time or another cause—the Chatfield Chiropractic team is here to help. Book an appointment with one of our chiropractors today. We’re passionate about helping families live healthy happy lives!

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