While electronic devices now play an important part society, I believe there needs to be a healthy balance between the time spent on electronic devices like iPads, computers and iPhones and outdoor play.
While electronic devices now play an important part society, I believe there needs to be a healthy balance between the time spent on electronic devices like iPads, computers and iPhones and outdoor play. Darryn Smith

The damage a babysitting screen can do to your child

NEXT time you shove a device in front of your child have a think about their eyesight, poor posture, weight and other impacts too much screen time could have on their overall health.

While electronic devices now play an important part in society, I believe there needs to be a healthy balance between the time spent on electronic devices like iPads, computers and iPhones and outdoor play.

I have fond childhood memories playing outdoors on the farm, at the beach and exploring through active hands on play-based learning and adventures.

While electronic devices weren't as prevalent when I was a child, I know my mother wouldn't shove my future children in front of a screen. 

It doesn't surprise me that some research shows direct links between screen time and obesity.

According to spinalresearch.com.au, a preschool aged child's risk of being overweight increased by 6% for every hour of television watched per day.

But it's not just the weight concerns.

Poorer sleep, social skills, and cognitive skills are also concerns along with the physiological impacts including poor posture, injuries to the thumbs and elbows, and deteriorating eyesight.

Craig Martens is a specialist optometrist at EyeQ Optometrist in Hervey Bay.

He said while no studies had proved long term eye problems, short term symptoms included sore eyes for some while other children came in complaining of headaches.

While it's not always specifically linked to screen time, Mr Martens said some of the more unusual symptoms he witnessed were vertigo or nausea spells.

"People who get symptoms from computer screens will struggle to stay asleep," he said.

"Kids tend to be a lot more anti-social when they're always in front of a screen which has an impact on their school work."

"You don't know what you'll get in the next twenty years (future studies)," he said.

How much screen time is too much? Join the discussion below.



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