There’s a significant increase in the amount of time spent by kids on electronic media be it tablets, television or phone during the lockdown period. As we are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, almost 90% of the student population is cut off from school and because of this internet has become a critical tool for children’s access to learning, play, entertainment and social interaction.
Children are unable to leave their homes to socialise with friends and family, people are increasingly turning to their smartphones for entertainment and to stay connected.
It also highlights the growing importance of kids and family programming that has only grown more pronounced as kids are trapped at home and parents are looking for ways to entertain them. Excessive screen time for kids in lockdown not only can have an effect on mental well being but can also lead to childhood obesity.
How we can help every child achieve a balance screen time during the coronavirus crisis and when life goes back to normal?
It’s important to monitor what the child do online, the content they watch and the time spent online. Screen time checking apps can be installed and time usage could be set for the day.
Active parental engagement with kids like playing video games together and talking about the contents the kid is watching as well watching some movie together could be fun and engaging for both parent and kid.
We can help them improve their physical activity while being confined to home by putting up active video games or fun exercises for them which is not only good for their social but mental health as well.
To decrease their screen time they could be given simple household chores according to their age and ability and ensure to praise and appreciate them during the family time over lunch or dinner.
Together we can ensure a technologically safe lockdown for our kids.
Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist
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