December 2, 2022


What Does Too Much Screen Time Do to Children’s Brains?

At a young age exposing your child to screen can cause numerous harmful effects such as: behavioral, social, sleep, vision, physical, and weight problems.

When children are glued to a screen in their early development they aren’t aware of those around them and their surroundings, and because they’re not watching social cues they’re aren’t able to process no-verbal cues. As well as using these devices for them are an addiction and they feed off of these screens when they don’t have them they suffer from withdrawal and have aggression and angry outburst when they are not using these devices. Also, studies have shown that children who use these at a young age also have attention issues because they’re not receiving the same stimulation from physical interaction as they are from the screens. In addition, they also don’t know how to interact with others in person because of their screen time and they don’t like interacting with others because of the awkwardness and uncomfortable that it brings and would rather be on a screen and limit their interactions with others dramatically.

Screens emit blue light which is the equivalent to daylight when a child looks at a screen before bed it stimulates and wakes up their brain which causes troubles sleeping because their minds and their brain activity are running at peak speed which is not optimal for sleep. So even though when they turn off their screen their brains are still working and it doesn’t allow them to sleep. “Sleep is essential for the healthy development of a child’s brain, affecting learning, memory, emotions, behaviors, and overall mental health.” So when these screens mess up their sleep patterns it also takes a toll on their mental health as the brain is still so vulnerable and susceptible to change. Along with sleep issues having a screen inches away from a child’s face strains their eyesight some of these symptoms include: burning, itchy and tired eyes. Blue light is also very damaging to the retinal cells which can cause macular degeneration which is not curable and will last for the rest of the child’s life, causing severe blurry vision.

The small devices for children cause children to hunch over a screen and it can hurt their postures. A spine stops developing at the age of 18 so from 18 years of a child’s life hunching over it can cause a weak spine and can cause back problems for the rest of their lifetime. As well as the lighting of the screens can cause headaches and even migraine problems later in their life as well. In addition to spinal issues screens promote a sedentary lifestyle and can cause weight problems like childhood obesity. Childhood obesity can lead to other health problems later in life such as joint problems, diabetes, and heart disease. When children are focused on a screen and snack watching or playing on a screen they are not conscious of what they’re eating and don’t have control over how much they eat which can lead to weight gain over a long period of time.

What Effect does Screentime have on Children?

Screen time and its relationship to children is an issue I feel passionately about because it is something that is extremely prevalent in our society. Whenever I see small children spending time on devices, I always wonder what effect it will have on them later in life. I didn’t know very much about the issue before beginning research outside of being generally told that too much screen time is “bad”. After researching the topic more, I realize that screen time is an issue that can is affecting the health of more than just children and that it isn’t being discussed nearly as much as it should be.