How much screen time should a child get?
Parents of a toddler in China were alarmed to learn that their daughter’s eyesight was ruined by her smartphone addiction.
An alarming case of high myopia in toddlers due to phone addiction
The two-year-old girl from Jiangsu, known as Xiao Man, was recently diagnosed with severe myopia after her parents took her to see a doctor.
According to Chinese media reports
, Xiao Man started watching shows on the phone since she was a year old.
Her parents were not strict with her screen time and they often let her use the device for long periods as it was the only thing that kept her quiet whenever she was acting up.
As time passed, the girl’s parents noticed that she was frowning and squinting while watching shows on the electronic device, and often rubbing her eyes.
At first, they chalked the behaviour down to a bad habit but decided to take her to the doctors for a second opinion.
To their shock, their daughter was diagnosed with severe myopia (nearly 900 degrees). The doctors informed the family that the condition was irreversible, and her eyesight could get worse as she grows up.
Doctors also shared that the girl’s case was due to prolonged and premature usage of electronic devices.
They advised parents of young children to restrict their use of smartphones or tablets — kids under the age of three should not use them, while children between three and six years old should only get up to 30 minutes of screen time daily.
This article was republished with permission from AsiaOne.
How much screen time is acceptable for children?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), young children should not spend more than an hour a day watching television and videos or playing computer games. Infants less than one-year-old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all.
Strategies for managing screen time
1. Set time limits
Aim for less than an hour a day, or think about screen time per week instead of per day. On sick or rainy days, you might watch a movie together. On more active days, you can have no screen time at all. Permit screen use at key moments, like during your morning shower or evening meal prep.
2. Keep devices out of bedrooms
Out of sight is out of mind. Set boundaries earlier so that as your child grows, they are not dependent on it.
3. Be a good role model
Your children are watching you. Even at a young age, they are observing you, so put down your phone during meals and one-on-one time.
Also READ: Little girl suffers eyesight problems after prolonged mobile phone use