6 Ways Too Much Screen Time May Be Bad for Your Kids

originalBy Jeffrey Green

Have you considered sending your child to rehab to help them overcome their addiction to the electronic screens of video games, cell phones and the like? While that may sound far-fetched to some parents who are themselves ‘screen addicts’, it’s an idea whose time has come.

Some countries consider childhood screen addiction to be a clinical disorder and have rehab facilities in which to treat the afflicted children. Too much screen time is bad for your kids’ health on many different levels and must be treated like any other addiction so the damage can be stopped, and hopefully reversed.

1. Sleep Deprivation

Without question the electronic screens of many devices are causing a crisis of sleep deprivation for all age groups. However, the loss of sleep is most detrimental to children. Kids need more sleep than adults due to their developing body and mind. The average child needs 10-12 hours of sleep each night in order for them to grow and develop properly, but screen time is shaving off hours of that much-needed sleep time. The average child is constantly sleep deprived and trying to learn, grow and develop on 6-8 hours of sleep per night at the most.

Children who sleep with electronic devices in the their bedroom get less sleep than those who leave the devices in another room of the home at night. Not only are the children playing games and texting when they should be asleep, but the blue light emitted from the devices hinders sleep even after the device is shut off.

All electronics, including cell phones, tablets, iPads and TVs, emit a blue light from the screen. The body interprets that blue light as daylight and the brain sends out the signal to wake up. Instead of being sleepy at bedtime, the child is now wide awake even when the electronic screen is shut off.

A kid who is suffering from sleep deprivation will typically be cranky, have an increased risk of obesity, have a short attention span, lack decision-making skills, have increased health problems, be lethargic and do poorly in school. And all of this can be traced back to too much screen time.

2. Obesity

The use of any device with an electronic screen seems to require the need to sit down, or at least be still, while using. The sedentary nature, combined with ads for high-calorie junk food, often leads to childhood obesity. Children are naturally full of energy and have an inborn need to run, jump and otherwise be active. When that normal desire to be active is curtailed and they sit on their haunches for hours on end, they will become overweight.

Obesity leads to a variety of health problems, including diabetes, joint problems and heart disease. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in most countries, too much screen time is the biggest contributing factor to the epidemic.

3. Vision Problems

There used to be a 20/20/20 rule for those who had to spend long hours working in front of their computer screens – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That 20/20/20 rule was implemented to help prevent eye strain and potential vision problems in the future.

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Kids won’t take their eyes off the electronic screen for 20 seconds, even if they have heard of the 20/20/20 rule. Immediate eye strain and pain can occur from staring at the screen too long; and it’s too soon to know what type of vision problems the future may hold for those kids who have too much screen time now.

4. Aches and Pains

Phone neck, text thumb and several other new medical terms had to be coined in order to describe the various aches and pains which are developing from too much screen time. The head, neck and wrists are often held at odd angles, and thumbs are used in ways they were never meant to be used just to accommodate an electronic device. It all adds up to childhood aches and pains which will worsen as the child becomes an adult.

Back pain, arthritis, repetitive motion syndrome and migraines are just some of the chronic and often debilitating health problems a kid who has too much screen time today may develop in the future.

5. Loss of Social Skills

Kids who spend too much time with electronics lack in normal social skills that are needed to help them develop into a well-rounded adult. While kids know their way around keypads, they don’t know how to talk one-on-one to another person. Social skills, people skills and the ability to interact with others of all ages is lacking in kids who spend too much interacting with an electronic device and have limited face time with people.

By not developing the ability to interact with others face-to-face, future adult relationships for the child will be impeded. Employment, romance, friendships and simple social etiquette will be limited and awkward if a child never develops normal social skills.

6. Aggression

Ask any child what their favorite video game is and in all probability it will involve violence. Even very young kids are drawn to games that use weapons to kill. The more violent and bloody, the more popular the video game typically becomes.

That translates into aggression as the child becomes a teenager. Studies show that teens who spend a lot of time watching violent TV shows and/or playing violent video games are far more likely to be aggressive both in the home and at school. These aggressive teens fight with their siblings and peers, argue with teachers and parents and just always seems to be an outburst waiting to happen.

Jeffrey Green writes for NaturalBlaze.com where this article first appeared. This article is open-source and free to republish in full with attribution.

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6 Comments on "6 Ways Too Much Screen Time May Be Bad for Your Kids"

  1. hahaha….activistpost continues to post ridiculous articles that cannot be confirmed or validated.

    They do this to distract you from the real issues. Its 10 oclock….do you know what your government is up to??

    • Cannot be confirmed or validated?
      The only people who make claims such as these are fellow addicts who are in denial.
      Look around you, (if you actually go into social settings), I see whole families sitting at a restaurant tables all glued to their device instead of talking to one another.
      Same goes for groups of young kids at the mall. All looking at their phones and ignoring one another. And this behavior is so prevalent that the masses have been desensitized to the over use. In fact, if you’re not looking and playing with some gadget you’re seen as weird.
      Some things make good servants and horrible masters. This is one. When that phone rings it’s like pavlovs dog, they can’t let it go to voice mail, they MUST answer it. The phone is NOW in control.
      If this is not dysfunction I don’t know what is. I’ve heard many people even sleep with their phone, and you can guarantee many reading this will not find that odd at all.

      Why do you think they have developed laws against texting while driving?
      Because there have been so many proven idiots who can’t display any restraint or discipline in letting the phone take a message.

      In my final note, I want to show the irony of your statement about people not knowing what their government is doing. If you cannot stop the PHONE from leading you around by the nose, how are you going to address a more serious problem?

      • the comment wasn’t meant for you. you do not have enough information to know what point i;m trying to make…because its meant for activistpost. AP is just another gov operation. They have been censoring my comments over and over again. I’ll try posting it again in another comment below. My point to them is that they enjoy censoring those who know what is going on this maniacal world. That’s because AP is part of the matrix. Most of them are.

        Get a clue, and stop slobbering retorts to those you know nothing about. I’m not a fellow addict in denial. I’m on the same side that you are choosing, I;m just a little bit smarter than you.

  2. Explains why your representatives are the way they are. Stupid is as stupid does. Seasonal greeting from your government: Have a scary christmas and a crappy new year.

  3. This is the elephant in the room that the typical american will scoff at and minimalize because they are one of the gadget addicts themselves.
    I’m predicting very few comments on this very REAL and GROWING problem or many will attack the claim in defense of their own guilt.

    Einstein said, “Finding the problem is more important than the solution” We are still in denial.

    Have you seen the text speak on comment boards? We are losing our ability to spell and type correctly.
    Many people cannot resolve problems or answer questions with consulting with google or some other search engine. Using trusted data base in problem solving is good, depending upon it is very bad.
    I’ve heard reports of some users falling in love with Siri. Many of them. How bizarre and dysfunctional is that!!!

    Think how easy your kids will be to control with this kind of behavior and addiction.

  4. wisdom of the knowing | December 11, 2015 at 3:14 pm |

    Mmmm… well the little mind control gadgets are working quite well.
    The people will be conquered from within by the mind manipulation from with out.

    Those who can not see this are themselves addicted and controlled by the T V, cell phone, and other various electronic gadgets like computers and so on.

    People are entertaining themselves to death and they are not aware of what is happening.

    Unfortunately those who are trapped in this are no longer aware that they are caught in the matrix. Being unaware they will follow the “pied piper ” right off into oblivion. Those left behind will have a brave new world which will again have to evolve from a new beginning.

    It is possibly a de- evolution or inevitable result of the electronic lobotomy that has happened.

    There are those who will see this however they are a minority and most likely spiritually advanced enough to resist the temptation.

    The zombie apocalypse is before us right there in front of us and few see this methinks.

    Blessings from the serene mind………

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