For most of us, the temperatures are colder outside, and you are probably finding that your kids’ screen time has increased. Unfortunately, this is not a new trend. Children’s overall screen time has more than doubled since 1999 to more than seven hours a day.
For International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Voice of Play, this number is very concerning. It has been proven that too much screen time can lead to having trouble with schoolwork, attention problems and getting a sufficient amount of sleep each night. Even eating disorders and obesity are linked to excessive time behind the TV, cell phone or computer.
In collaboration with Sandord Health Systems, WebMD wrote a great article on ways to get children away from the electronics. Some of the ideas include:
- Cutting the amount of screen time down by an hour each week, instead of making a drastic change right away.
- Keeping electronics out of kids’ bedrooms.
- Creating a schedule on when and how often kids can access electronics.
- Encouraging activities like spending time with friends or siblings, reading or playing outside. (Trying out your local playground is always a great idea!)
Each of these suggestions allows parents to have more control over the use of electronics, as well as monitor the time spent on them and the content that is being consumed. It might be a tough adjustment for the family at first, but it is certainly a healthy choice in the long run.