At what age is it okay for your child to start using digital devices? This question has always been a contentious one, but recently, the World Health Organzation (WHO) released new guidelines regarding the recommended screen time for kids under five.
AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care, a top eye care center in the state, elaborates on the new guidelines below.
The Updated Guidelines
Listed below are the new guidelines:
Children who haven’t turned two should receive no screen time at all.
Two-year-old children should receive no more than an hour of screen time, although experts still insist that the less screen time your child gets, the better.
Three-to-four-year-old kids should only get an hour of screen time at most.
The Risks of Too Much Screen Time At An Early Age
There’s no doubt that excessive amounts of screen time can have detrimental effects on the vision of kids and adults. But arguably, the said effects are more devastating for kids, as they affect more than just their vision.
One devastating consequence of too much screen time is developmental delays. Infants’ motor skills are developed through their interaction with their surroundings; they learn by seeing and touching all sorts of objects. Watching TV or screens don’t encourage infants to do that—they discourage it and encourage a sedentary lifestyle instead.
Without these crucial interactions with their surroundings, children are more likely to fall behind their peers when they start school. Scientists even noticed that these children lacked the fine motor skills that are necessary for writing.
In the modern technological age, however, children will have to use a digital device at some point. Regulating its use will be key to minimizing its detrimental effects. To learn more about the WHO guidelines, consult your local eye doctor.
It would also be a good idea to have your kids’ eyes checked at an early age. That way, any vision problems, as well as any possible developmental delays that may arise from it, can be addressed.
AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care offers a wide range of eye care services, including eye exams. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists, call us at (757) 772-0086 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Virginia Beach, VA.