The establishment of life habits in childhood will affect the health and achievements of adulthood, especially children under 5 years of age, which is a very important period of growth, cognitive development, and learning efficiency.
Nowadays, parents often have no time to spend with their children because of their busy lifestyles. TV and iPad have gradually become the most immediate nanny, but can babies really watch TV or iPad? Will it affect her visual development? How long can she watch?
So can children watch TV?
Studies found that, TV or iPad is killing children’s concentration. The more they expose to the screen, the level of their concentration will be lowered. It’s not only affect their concentration, it’s also reduce the children’s ability to learn vocabulary, interaction and language skills.
Have you ever notice that your children is not responding when they are watching TV? The reason behind this is because watching TV is “passively” receiving information without any interaction. Too much of exposure to the screen will cause the child ignoring others (not because they can’t hear you), simply because the child is “out of the normal situation”.
So can the baby watch TV? How long can children watch TV in a day? According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “seated screen time” must not exceed one hour per day, and babies less than one year old must be completely away from the screen. Let’s check if your child’s screen time meet the international recommended standards?
How to allocate screen time, physical activity and sleep time?
Healthy physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep habits will be established in the early years, providing for the development of good habits in children and adolescents until adulthood. Therefore, younger children under 5 years of age should develop good habits, allocate proper physical activity and adequate sleep to prevent future obesity or other diseases in their adulthood.
Time allocation for 1-2 years old:
It is recommended to have more than 3 hours of physical activities daily. These activities include simple exercising, going outdoors, crawling on the floor, or play in park etc.
During this age, it is recommended to strictly limit the screen time, but at 1.5 years old, you can slowly introduce a little screen, such as phone video ONLY if there’s a need to do so.
At 1-2 years old, children must have 11-14 hours of sleep time (including daily nap time), you must start to establish a regular wake-up and bedtimes at this age.
Time allocation for children 3-5 years old:
It is recommended to have more than 3 hours of physical activity time daily, which includes 1 hour of high-intensity activities. The children should feel hot, increases of heart beat, sweating etc when they perform high intensity activities. For example, running, chasing, cycling, swimming, dancing, playing ball, rope skipping etc.
The daily screen time should not exceed 1 hour, be sure to choose high-quality educational programs (not cartoon on YouTube), watch with your children, enjoy it as it strengthen family bonding. It is recommended to take a break after 20 minutes of screen time by, looking at trees or things out of the window.
At 3-5 years old, children must have 10-13 hours of sleep time (including any daily nap) It is necessary to get up and go to bed regularly during this period.
Time allocation for children 6-12 years old:
It is recommended to have more than 3 hours of physical activity time daily, which includes 1 hour of high-intensity activities. The children should feel hot, increases of heart beat, sweating etc when they perform high intensity activities. For example, running, chasing, cycling, swimming, dancing, playing ball, rope skipping etc, it can be completed in 1 session or split into 2 sessions.
The daily screen time should not exceed 2 hours. Parents should check the content of the program or enable kid-mode restriction. It is recommended to take a break after 20 minutes of screen time by, looking at trees or things out of the window.
At 6-12 years old, children need 9-12 hours of sleep daily (including any nap). It is necessary to get up and go to bed regularly during this period.