The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that children under age five should use a digital devices less and instead spend more time on physical activities. Children who spend more time on their screens are at risk of needing to see an eye doctor sooner than expected. In this blog, Northview Eye Care shares a look at why you should limit your children’s use of digital devices.
Physical Activities Vs. Use of Digital Devices
The WHO has recently released its updated recommendations regarding the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in children under five years of age. Among these recommendations is children should spend more time engaging in physical activity and the correct amounts of sleep.
The prevalence of digital devices have resulted in the rise of children spending more of their time with activities that the WHO describes as “sedentary screen time”. These include watching television, streaming videos and playing computer games. The WHO recommends that children under age five should spend no more than one hour a day using digital devices, and those under age one should not be allowed to use them at all.
Effects of Sedentary Screen Time
Sedentary activities places children at risk of obesity at a young age. Their bodies are still developing, therefore, physical activities and proper amounts of sleep will help improve their health and wellness, which can be carried later in life.
Canadian researchers have also found a link between sedentary screen time and eye development. An eye exam was performed on children between two and three who have watched television for up to 3.6 hours a day. Issues related to coordination and recognition, as well as a notably poor performance on development screening tests have been found.
Expectations from Parents
Parents should pay attention to how long their children use their electronic devices. Screen time should be limited to those recommended by the WHO. Play times and proper sleep times should likewise be observed.
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