In her presentation, speech language pathologist Angie Neal discusses the use of screen time in children and its impact on development, both in negative and positive ways. In the course of the last two years, we’ve seen technology be useful for a lot of good things. Facetiming loved ones, attending school virtually and simulated learning experiences such as virtual field trips to the Great Barrier Reef or your local zoo are just a few examples. We also need to consider the negative aspects: an increase in rate of obesity due to increased snacking during screen time, disruptions in sleep and even disruptions in specific areas of brain development.
How can we overcome the negative effects seen from this growth in screen time? For children aged 2-5, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting the amount of screen time to 1 hour per day. After your child has been allotted screen time, complete a related activity – if he played an interactive baking game, go and bake a real cake; if he played a construction game, go and make a sensory bin where you have to dig through ‘dirt’ (packing peanuts, water beads) to find hidden objects. You can complete a physical activity following screen time. Encourage children to play outside, whether it be hopscotch, tag, jump rope. Lastly, set boundaries for experiences that will be “tech-free.” This means refraining from using technology during car rides, dinner time and most importantly, before bed.
Source: Screen Use in Children and Impact on Development: What has changed?: Angie Neal