Screen time to mentally inactive preschool kids

According to a study published in the internationally acclaimed journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, pre-school children (aged two to three) who spend more than three hours a day watching screens such as mobile /tablets/television grow up to be less physically active at age 5.5 years.

The study revealed that children from the same age group with less than one hour of screen time per day were more likely to have’ healthier later life behaviors.’

One way that screen viewing can affect health is by replacing time that would otherwise be spent doing something else, such as sleep and physical activity. The latest study is the first to examine the effects of early life screen use on day-to-day activity in pre-school kids.

Associate Professor Falk Müller-Riemenschneider of the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock of Public Health said, “We tried to evaluate if screen viewing habits at age two to three influenced how children spent their time at age five. We were particularly interested in whether screen watching later in childhood influenced sleep patterns and activity levels.

“Former head of Center Point School (Katol Road) Kana Roy Chaudhuri said parents must show restraint when handing over their mobiles. “Parents who give children mobile phones or feed them while watching TV are a bad practice and developing habits, too,” Chaudhuri said.

Manisha Mahatme, senior lecturer at St Joseph’s Convent Junior College, acknowledged that handing over mobiles has become an easy way out. “I’m rarely seeing kids on the field as parents prefer to keep them at home or send them to the activity class instead of doing something physical. Because of their busy schedule, parents don’t have enough time for their kids, giving mobile in their hands or placing on the TV is easy for parents, which keeps the kids busy, “Mahatme said.

But the problem with excessive screen time goes beyond the mere lack of physical activity, Br feels. Shine, school principal at Montfort. “Spending too much time in the virtual world hampers real-world social skills. Poor social skills and knowledge related to interpersonal relationships are genuine concerns to tackle. Lack of patience and limited attention span is an increasing problem among our kids because of overuse of smartphones, “Br said. Brilliant.

Tata Parsi School Principal Shanoor Mirza said the extra screen time soon spills over to abuse, which is a bigger concern. “Before long, children start accessing the part of the Internet that is dangerous to them. I know of cases where children post obscene videos and get exposed to things that aren’t suitable for the age, “Mirza said.

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