Children today are using screens way more than the recommended figures suggested by paediatricians. According to Common Sense, one in two children reported feeling addicted to screens. Screen addiction is the case when adverse behavioural, psychological, and physical outcomes occur due to the prolonged use of smart devices with screens, such as phones, tablets, and computers. Because of its serious consequences, most parents are looking for ways to protect their children from screen addiction.
In this article, we’ll discuss the adverse outcomes of excessive screen time, introduce a strategy to protect children from screen addiction, and explain how to use Safes parental control app to lock children’s screens.
Why Screen Time Is a Serious Issue
As reported by UNICEF, infants exposed to screens extensively run the risk of a delay in brain development. They may have trouble interpreting people’s facial expressions, learning social skills, and understanding non-verbal cues. That’s why OSF Healthcare recommends that parents not expose their below 2-year-old infants to screens except for video calling with family and friends.
OSF Healthcare further recommends that parents not allow their 2 – 5-year-old children to use screens for more than 1 hour per day. The suggested limit for older children is up to 3 hours per day. However, children out there use screens way more than these figures. Today children between 8 – 12 years old spend almost 5 hours a day in front of screens, as reported by Common Sense. Teenagers use screens for nearly 7.5 hours a day!
Too much work with screens causes changes in mood and behaviour, detachment from reality, and physical problems such as eye fatigue and an eating disorder. Besides, due to the addictive nature of the digital world, children tend to stay up after bedtime playing games, watching videos, chatting, or surfing the internet. This habit makes school children either wake up late or feel exhausted the following day, which results in a lack of attention at school, unwillingness to participate in physical activities, aggression, and depression.
The Strategy to Protect Children from Screen Addiction
59% of parents agree that their children are addicted to screens. If you, too, believe your child is overusing screens, or if you just want to prevent screen addiction, use the strategy below.
Talk to Your Child about the Health Risks of Screen Addiction
Explain to your child what screen addiction is and its adverse outcomes. Tell them how to abstain from the consequences by controlling their screen time. Older children tend to be more cooperative in controlling their screen time.
Find Alternatives for Screens
It would be hard for any child to refrain from entertaining themselves in front of a screen when there is no other amusing activity. As a parent, you should find activities, preferably physical ones, to replace screens. For example, you can enrol your child in art, science, or sports classes. You can take them to stadiums, theatres, museums, or galleries. You can go camping, hiking, or playing games with your family.
Monitor & Control Your Child’s Screen Time
Lastly, you need to monitor your child’s screen time and if you realise they are overusing, make them put their screens away. Screens submerge children; therefore, it is difficult for children to control themselves. Younger children, in particular, need more help with their screen time control.
However, you cannot keep track of your child’s screen time with a stopwatch in hand and follow them everywhere. For this matter, you need to use technology. Using Safes, you can both monitor and control your child’s screen time without touching their devices. You can manage everything from your phone.
How to Lock Your Child’s Screen Using Safes
Safes is a comprehensive parental control app with screen time monitoring/controlling features. Using this app, you can clearly understand if your child is overusing their devices. You can set screen times, block apps, or lock your child’s screens. Below, we’ll explain Safes’ screen time monitoring features in detail.
Screen Time Report
After installing Safes Kids app on your child’s phone, tablet, or PC, the application will collect information about how your child uses their devices and report to Safes app installed on your phone. You’ll receive daily, weekly, and monthly reports. Soon, you’ll understand what apps your child is using the most.
Screen Time Limit
After checking the reports, you can restrict the apps your child is overusing. You can set specific daily screen time limits for a group of apps or each app individually. When your child reaches the time limit, the selected apps will automatically shut down.
Screen Time Schedule
Using Safes, you can create a screen time schedule for each day of the week. You may want to allow more screen time on the weekends. The schedule will repeat automatically.
Screen Time Profile
You can create screen time profiles for special days of the week or situations. For example, you can create a profile for holidays and vacations.
Using the geofence feature, you can select a geographical zone on the map and assign screen time limits to it. When your child enters the zone, the limitations apply; when they leave, the limitations reverse. You can use the geofence feature to, for example, stop your child from playing mobile games at school.
If there’s any app you don’t want your child to use at all, you can block it. If your child is overusing an app at a given time, you can terminate/close the app instantly.
Instant Block (Screen Lock)
You can genuinely lock your child’s screen with the instant block feature. When you activate the instant block, your child’s phone, tablet, or PC will lock instantly. Your child won’t be able to use their devices except for calling and sending SMS. This feature is beneficial for protecting your child from screen addiction.
Bedtime mode works the same way as the instant block, with the difference that you can set your child’s device to lock at a specific time at night. Using this feature, your child won’t stay up after bedtime using phones, tablets, or PCs.
Concluding How to Protect Your Child from Screen Addiction
The excessive use of screens by children troubles most parents. 59% report believing their children are addicted to screens. Since excessive screen time causes severe multiple health issues, parents are looking for ways to prevent their children from screen addiction. If you believe your child spends too much time in front of screens, you can use the strategy explained in this article to help them. You may use Safes to monitor and control your child’s screen time.