As Victorian school holidays begin and more parents are working from home, children behavioral health experts are warning of the dangers of too much screen time.
But screen time still has a place – especially if used for educational purposes.
UniSA Associate Professor Carol Maher says Teachers are already preparing materials for kids to do at home.
“And many parents will be relieved to know that when computers are used for education purposes, the two-hour daily limit does not apply,” she said.
“Not all screen time is created equally, so when parents are looking for additional online activities for their kids, some options are more suitable than others.
“For example, educational video games that help kids practice maths, typing skills and so on, are great, as are STEM-focused YouTube channels that conduct all sorts of experiments and investigations.”
She said school-aged children should spend a maximum two hours screen time.
Beyond this, screen time will negatively impact a child’s mood, behaviour and attention span.
It can also, in the longer term, impact their physical health through higher risks of obesity and poorer cardiometabolic health.
“There’s no doubt that screens are an easy time-filler for kids, especially when mum or dad are working from home, but it’s critical for parents to understand that excessive recreational screen time is associated with many negative health, mental and behavioral outcomes,” she said.
Assoc Prof Maher also says finding new opportunities for children to be active will also be critical in these changing times.
There are some creative ideas to keep kids entertained here