Most of the parents are haunted by this question nowadays; how much access should children and youngsters have when it comes to devices and gadgets? There are many heated debates on the topic ranging across the whole spectrum. Researchers are religiously looking into the matter of screen time and its associated risks. A recently published report in the BMJ Open Medical Journal in which the researchers have stated that screen time is not as harmful to the children as parents originally believed it to be.
The statement sure feels like a sigh of relief for many youngsters, however; the study is a bit more complex, and the statement is not exactly a conclusive statement considering that there are a variety of factors to consider.
The leader in child medicine; The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health or RCPCH, has furnished a guide for under 18 years of age and their screen time usage. This guide is based on the fact that there is no authentic evidence to support the notion that too much time in front of a screen is overly toxic.
Studies in the past have indicated a correlation between higher screen use and depression and obesity. Nonetheless, the RCPCH has refuted these claims and believes that there is not sufficient enough evidence to support this hypothesis properly.
RCPCH president, Prof. Russell Viner, led the team and focused on not restricting the screen time but instead on targeting if these devices and gadgets are preventing children from taking part in ‘real-world’ activities. The researchers have also discussed in the guide about how these devices should not replace sleep, time with family, and exercise.
Furthermore, these devices must not be used an hour before you hit the bed. That is because doing so has effects on sleep patterns of the user. It should also be noted that according to the study, excessive screen time can worsen the existing bad habits in children.
Dr. Max Davie, an officer for health promotion for the RCPCH and conductor of the study, maintains that the phones and tablets are actually ‘a great way to explore the world.’
Dr. Max Davie is focused on removing the negativity that surrounds the idea of children and youngsters having access to these devices. The doctor also wants to help the guilty parents that allow their children and youngsters to spend time on such gadgets. Dr. Davie said, ‘We want to cut through that and say ‘actually if you’re doing OK and you’ve answered these questions (below) of yourselves, and you’re happy, get on and live your life and stop worrying.’
The RCPCH also provided a list of questions that can help you determine if you should restrict your child’s screen time. The questions include the following;
- Is the family’s screen time under control?
- Is there any interference between screen use and what your family wants to do?
- Does the screen use cause trouble with sleeping?
- Is there a check on snacking during screen time?
Do let us know what you think of screen time and how it can be controlled.