There are many dangers of too much screen time for kids, among the most concerning, is sleep deprivation. Any of us that are addicted to our screens know this. It is a constant struggle to put down the screens and allow our minds to drift off to sleep. But how does this affect kids? If you, as an adult, don’t get enough sleep, you’re apt to be less productive at work and may have trouble holding up your eyes as they grow ever heavier throughout the day. However, sleep deprivation is detrimental to children’s developing minds and bodies. The average child requires 10-12 hours of sleep every night; however, the average child only gets 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep deprivation in children can lead to obesity, short attention spans, crankiness, lack of decision-making skills, lethargy that leads to poor performance at school, and health problems.
Why does screen-time get such a bad rap? The blue light emitted from the screen is interpreted by the body as a signal to wake up. So if a child is interacting with a screen at night, instead of feeling sleepy when it is bedtime the child is more likely to be wide awake, even long after the screen has been shut off.
Another one of the dangers of too much screen time for kids is obesity. Screens make you sit. The struggle to keep kids active these days is real! Especially when there are so many screens tempting them to sit and stare for hours. Children have the natural urge to run, jump, and kick, and when this is curtailed they can become over weight.
It is actually unknown what kinds of vision problems long-term screen time can create. Though there is no denying it causes strain. There used to be a 20/20/20 rule. Meaning every 20 minutes of screen time you should look away for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away. This may seem an impossible rule to implement, especially when it comes to children.
Loss of Social Skills
There is no secret here, social skills take practice. When a child spends more time in front of a screen than interacting with others their social skill development lags. This can have an effect on them later in life, and impede their ability to form relationships.
When it comes to aggression there have been studies that prove the more time a child spends watching violent TV shows, movies, and/or playing violent videos games the more likely they are to become aggressive. Cut down on the likelihood of this happening by cutting down on screen time.
Getting Your Kids Active
To avoid or curb the dangers of too much screen time for kids, we must get them active! Getting your child to be active at least one hour every day will greatly increase their ability to maintain a healthy weight, and build self-confidence, healthy bones and muscle. Also, it’s fun. They will have a chance to get that extra energy out in a fun and creative way that helps them experience and interact with the world around them.
Why Martial Arts
First and foremost, it is a way for your child to get active! It is also an activity any child can do. Team sports can be very competitive, and some schools don’t even offer PE anymore. With karate, no child sits on the bench. Each child works at their own level, building their self-esteem and confidence while learning important self-defense skills. Instructors encourage children to achieve their personal best.
We believe there is no better sport than the martial arts for kids to learn invaluable life skills such as goal setting, perseverance and respect. Parents report that enrolling their child at Karate West has been one of the best decisions they’ve made toward their child’s future. Karate gives kids a leg up in the world.
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- Fitness Done Right – Young to Old - April 12, 2017
- The Dangers of Too Much Screen Time for Kids – And Why Parents Must Get Their Kids Active - March 27, 2017