Parents have an uneasy relationship with digital devices. On the one hand, they’re an essential part of modern life. On the other hand, there’s the question of how much screen time is appropriate for your kids. And more importantly, for parents with toddlers, there’s the question of at what age should you should let your kids start playing with a digital device.
In response to parents’ growing concerns, the World Health Organization released new guidelines for kids’ usage of digital devices, particularly for those aged five and under. Alderwood Optical & Canyon Park Vision Clinic, a top optical care clinic in the state, elaborates on the updated guidelines below.
Updates to the Guidelines
Listed below are the new guidelines:
Infants aged 12 months and below shouldn’t have any screen time at all.
Children ages two through five can have up to one hour of screen time per day, although any eye doctor will still insist that the less screen time your child gets, the better.
Developmental Delays in Early Childhood
It’s common knowledge that excessive screen time has detrimental effects on an individual’s vision, regardless of whether they’re a child or an adult. Excessive screen time, however, is arguably more detrimental to kids aged under five because it can stunt their development.
Toddlers learn through interacting with their environment, and watching TV and playing with tablets don’t encourage that. In fact, these activities discourage interaction and curiosity by promoting a sedentary lifestyle, which can have severe consequences for a child’s learning capabilities.
For example, children who have a lot of screen time often fail to develop their hand-eye coordination. In fact, when they start school, they often have a difficult time because they don’t have the fine motor skills needed for writing.
Sooner or later, your child will use digital devices. But until they’re older, it’s best to keep screen time to a minimum.
Keep in mind that screen time isn’t the only cause of vision problems in early childhood. Considering that visual learning is crucial to early childhood development, it’s important to take your child to an eye doctor.
Alderwood Optical & Canyon Park Vision Clinic offers a wide range of eye care services. To set up an appointment with one of our eye specialists, call (425) 485-0430 or (425) 771-8472. We serve homeowners in Bothell, WA.