Gone are the times when kids actually stepped out of the house to go play with their friends until their parents had to drag them home. Technology may have helped things advance rapidly but it has also made things worse for children in terms of physical activity. This year in April the WHO had released guidelines which stated that children under the age of 1 year should have no access to screen time whereas those between the ages of 1-5 years should have no more than one hour of screen time per day.
A new study, however, has found that the average screen time for kids is nearly tripling from ages 12 months to 3 years. As per the study, kids aged 1 year watched TV or had other means of screen time for about 53 minutes per day. That number increased drastically to 150 minutes by the time these kids were 3 years old. This clearly exceeds the limitations set by the WHO.
Yet another pediatric academy has also strictly recommended that children should not be exposed to screen time until the age of 18 months. And even post that, the kids should only be allowed upto about 1 hour of screen time per day until the age of 5 years at least. The study found that as the children grew older (toddler years), their screen time increased and as of now, nearly 87% of the children are exceeding their screen time limits.
However, they also found that screen time was reduced to 90 minutes for 7-8 years olds. This was attributed to the fact that the kids may now be busy with school-related activities instead. For the study, researchers divided a bunch of children into two groups and then monitored how their screen time increased from ages 1 to 3.
For the first group, 73% of the kids showed an increase in screen time from an average of 51 minutes per day at the age of 1 to nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes at the age 3 years. For the second group, 27% of the kids showed an increase in screen time from an average of 37 minutes per day at the age of 1 to about four hours by the time they turned three. As you can see, the results are shocking.
The study was able to find that parents who were more educated were less likely to le their children fall into the second group whereas first-time mothers were more likely to have kids belonging to the second group. It was also found that girls spent less time glued to screens as compared to boys. Researchers claim that addiction to screens can begin very early so parents need to be extra careful about how much exposure they're letting their kids have to screens. Stay tuned for more updates.