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Why Limit the Use of Electronic Media and Screens?

  • By Tuqa Marhoon
  • January 26, 2020

Obesity: Excessive use of screens in preschoolers increases the risk of obesity. An American study on two-year-old children, has found that the Body Mass Index (BMI) increased per hour per week of screen viewing. Adolescents exposed to screens more than 5 hours a day are five times more likely to be obese than adolescents who watch screens from 0 to 2 hours. Studies believe that the reasons are food advertisements that the child may see, eating while watching (which reduces attention to the signs of satiety), not to engage in play and physical activity.

Sleep disorders: Increased exposure of children in early childhood to screens or a screen in the bedroom was associated with a few minutes less sleep at night. Infants exposed to screens in the evening sleep at night shorter than those who are not exposed to the screen in the evening. The reason is the exciting content to the child’s brain and putting out melatonin levels due to the blue light emitted from the screen. Adolescents also sleep less due to using screens and have trouble falling asleep even if they head to their rooms early.

Behavioral problems: Violent content on screens can contribute to behavioral problems in children, either because they are afraid of what they see, or they try to imitate the characters they see. As for adolescents, ads on social media may encourage them to smoke and use drugs / alcohol, or may lead to sexual problems, or cause nutritional disorders, especially for teenage girls.

Delay in learning and social skills: Children who are heavily exposed to screens in early childhood and pre-school years can show delays and lack of attention, thinking, language development, and social skills. One of the reasons for these results is that screens reduce the direct interaction between the child and the surrounding environment and therefore less chance of learning.

Cyber bullying: Many educators are unaware that children and adolescents can be victims of cyber bullying and violence. This leads to short- and long-term negative social, academic and health problems for both the bully and the victim.

Tuqa Marhoon
She is a gifted and talented specialist, researcher, and parent educator. You can find more insightful information about your parenting on her platform @parenting.with.tea

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