One thing we should worry about in this generation is the amount of time that children spend on their gadgets. Besides their obsession for their gadgets; children can experience adverse effects to their health which is another matter of concern. Children today use gadgets for studying, playing games, watching movies, as well as interacting with friends. This is because they barely take their attention off the screen. While busy using their gadgets, they also tend to forget about having proper posture, screen distance, and using the proper brightness levels for their screens. This affects their eyesight as well. Staring at digital screens for a long time can cause dry eyes, discomfort, as well as irritation, while staying in one posture for extended periods can result in a stiff neck or back ache.
Excessive use of gadgets may also cause eyestrain, headache, and other similar issues. Since children tend to spend more time using gadgets than adults do, it may be quite challenging to keep your children away from these devices. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways you can take to lessen their exposure to gadgets and prevent the said side effects.
Require Children to Earn their Screen Time
Before allowing your children to use their gadgets or watch TV, require them to earn their screen time by completing their chores. Some of their chores are homework, and music or sports practice. This can be set up in a variety of ways; you can try giving them tickets that they have to present before watching TV, or simply let them finish all their homework and chores before doing anything else. However, you still have to ensure that the time they spend in front of their screens is still limited.
Explain what “Too Much Screen Time” Means
Let your children know why you limit their use of gadgets at home. Make them aware of the negative effects of sedentary time and excessive screen time so they will know the reasons behind the rules you enforce. While explaining, determine how much time you’ll allow them to spend in front of digital screens; also, tell them the consequences that they’ll encounter when these rules are broken.
Refrain from Using Gadgets as Babysitters
When some parents are busy, they tend to distract children with gadgets or television to keep the peace. Instead of using gadgets, use healthier alternatives such as story books, creative toys, as well as colouring books to keep them occupied.
Encourage Outdoor Play
Gadgets are one of the main reasons why a lot of people have sedentary habits which negatively affect one’s overall well-being. The best way to limit your children’s exposure to gadgets is to let them experience the fun of playing outdoors. This will require them to move around, and interact with others; plus, it will help them learn a lot of things that they will never discover within the four walls of a classroom. Aside from being more fun than staying indoors, outdoor play also helps exercise long distance vision to reduce the occurrence of myopia.
Follow a Schedule and Time Them
Allow your children to watch TV and use gadgets; but limit this to one to two hours each day after they finish their tasks. Also, ensure that your children regularly take short breaks when using the TV or computer. Ask them to blink two to three times when their eyes begin to hurt. This will prevent eye strain and dry eyes. Most opticians also recommend the 20-20-20 rule. This means having a break every twenty minutes. When taking a break, stare at something that is around 20 feet away for twenty seconds. Besides eye rest, encourage them to have a good stretch during short breaks to prevent body ache caused by staying in one position for too long.
Keep Bedrooms Screen-Free
Avoid keeping computers, gaming consoles, and TV’s in bedrooms so children will not spend their days locked up in their room and playing. Instead, keep these devices in common areas at home; this will allow you to track what they do and how much time they spend on these. For portable devices such as tablets, smart phones, and handheld gaming devices, require these to be surrendered before bedtime to avoid disrupting your children’s sleep.
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