DIGITAL DEVICES ARE A GREAT WAY TO ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE YOUR CHILD
however, the excessive and unregulated use of it may lead to delayed child development
In a Smart Nation like Singapore, digital devices have become a part of our everyday lives. Young children are growing up in a more connected and technologically-advanced environment. While digital devices are no doubt a great form of entertainment and education for young children, the excessive and unregulated usage of screen time have been found to be associated with various negative health concerns impacting young children's childhood development.
As such, Play Beyond The Screen aims to encourage parents with children aged 1-5 to actively mediate in their children’s screen time usage and employ alternative measures to educate and entertain them instead.
ABOUT PLAY BEYOND THE SCREEN
SCREEN TIME IS TIME SPENT ON DIGITAL DEVICES LIKE
SCREEN TIME IN SINGAPORE
Increasing screen time usage amongst young children is a key concern for parents. Even before your child learns to walk and speak, he or she is already exposed to screens at home and outside.
The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study found that many children exceeded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’ recommended screen time guidelines:
Nearly 25% of toddlers aged 2-3 engage in more than 4 hours of screen time per day
~ 2.4 hours
< 1 hour
75% of two year olds spend an average of 2.4 hours on screen time per day, far exceeding the recommended guideline of 1 hour or less
HEALTH CONCERNS IN RELATION TO EXCESSIVE SCREEN TIME
The fast-changing, engaging and repetitive screen content coupled with excessive screen time may cause difficulties for young children to disengage from digital devices, leading to higher association with cognitive and emotional development problems. These include:
ACTIVELY MEDIATING YOUR CHILD'S SCREEN TIME
Co-watch and discuss media content with your child to help them better understand what they are watching to apply it to the world around them. This way, the little ones will be more encouraged to exercise their critical thinking skills.
Be a good screen time role model as young children are likely to imitate our screen time habits as a basis of comparison. An example would be to avoid using our phones at the dinner table.
But of course, with parenting styles all so varied and circumstantial, there is no single hard and fast rule to managing screen time usage of young children. As you experiment with what works best for you and your child, here are some useful resources that you can make use of to kickstart your screen-time-management journey: