The good news is that video game access is down among children, but tablet and smartphone usage is up. Some parents may question whether or not that’s a bad thing. After all, there are a number of educational and reading apps on today’s latest mobile devices. Experts think differently though, which may leave you questioning if your children spend too much time with electronics.
How Much Time Are Children Spending With Electronics?
On average, today’s children are spending half their free time using electronics. The average child accesses 7.1 mobile apps per month. Many parents may allow access to the devices to keep kids quiet during doctor’s visits and others may do so because they are providing their child with educational entertainment. While that may be so, experts say that too much screen time isn’t good for children.
Why Is This a Problem?
One of the biggest concerns is the lack of exercise. Children that spend most of their free time playing on electronics aren’t getting the amount of exercise their bodies need. Another problem is that children aren’t interacting with other children. This can lead to the child being anti-social. If your child is reluctant to go out and play with friends, there may be a serious problem at hand.
How Much Time Should They Spend?
Because this form of entertainment can be educational, it should not be cut out completely, but does need to be limited. Experts suggest that children should spend a maximum of two hours each day using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It’s important that children have time for other activities that allow them to interact with other children and be active.
What Other Activities Should They Participate In?
Playing with other children and being active are what’s really important. You want your child to be social so that there’s less chance of problems as they grow older. Children should also participate in activities that count as exercise, such as sports, bike riding, and tag. Reading is also an important activity and while reading can be done on tablets and smartphones, reading from actual books can be easier on the child’s eyes.
Today’s mobile devices have made it much easier to provide your children with tons of educational entertainment. However, that entertainment should never take front seat to exercise and playing with friends. A good balance is necessary so that the child spends his free time doing a number of activities that are good for the body and mind. Limit your child’s screen time to two hours per day and encourage active games with friends.
About the Author: Paula Robinson loves to use technology in everyday life, and even uses a hosted PBX from RingCentral. That says, she recognizes the need to unplug from time to time and makes sure her kids do so daily.