Activities & Days Out / 8 August, 2023 / My Baba

Are Your Kids Reaching For Their Screens This Summer? Expert Guidelines For Ages 2-17

The experts at OutdoorToys have to put together a guide on UK screen time recommendations by age, taking into consideration the risks of excessive time spent on electronic devices per day.

The effects of screen time on kids

Excessive screen time is thought to negatively impact children’s cognitive skills, especially as they get older. Other risks associated with too much screen time can include disrupted sleep at night, problems with paying attention, poor academic performance, strain on the eyes, anxiety, depression and lack of exercise which can contribute to obesity and mobility issues.

The amount of time children spend on electronic devices each day rocketed by more than 50% during the pandemic and continues to cause concerns as children in the UK are spending more than the recommended amount of time in front of their screens.

Expert-led screen time recommendations by age

Under 2 years old

For children under the age of 2 years old, zero screen time is recommended. Except for when parents are video chatting with family or friends and put them on the screen.

Ages 2 to 5

It’s recommended to limit children’s screen time to one hour per day. Adults should co-view with them and make use of interactive, nonviolent, and educational media.

Ages 6 to 17

For this age group, the recommendation is no more than two hours per day of screen time, not inclusive of homework use.

It’s important to remember that screen time isn’t definitively unhealthy, especially when parents stay cautious about how long their child engages with media and monitor the content they are engaging with. Screen time becomes unhealthy when it starts to replace things that are beneficial for the growth of children, like outdoor play.

Alex Price, Product Expert at OutdoorToys, commented: 

“Playing outdoors is key for a child’s growth and development. There are many physical benefits that come with being active, such as developing essential motor skills like coordination, agility, and balance.

Being outdoors also helps to aid children’s immune system development. The Vitamin D they get from sun exposure encourages strong bone and muscle growth, as well as helping to establish healthy sleep cycles and mood stabilisation. The outdoors can even help children develop self-confidence and curiosity about the world around them, enabling them to make new friends, too.

Parents should take into consideration the benefits that being outside has for children, and make sure that screen time is not replacing this element”.

Top tips on getting kids outdoors and off their screens this summer

Plan ahead for the sunny days so you can make the most of the nice weather with your kids outside. From fun days in the park to salty beach days, planning ahead of time will allow you to spot nice weather and avoid being stuck on what to do.

Bad weather doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop. There are many activities that cater to children’s fun, such as indoor ball pits, arcades, arts and crafts centres and live shows. And, if you’re on a budget, you can recreate the fun at home with D.I.Y. and arts and crafts projects, bake-offs, mini fashion shows, treasure hunts, building pillow forts and much more!

Check out My Baba’s great ideas to keep the kids amused this summer. From mud kitchens, summer reads and the best picnic spots in town to great family days out, we hope you’ll find lots of inspiration – whatever your budget and location!

Budget-Friendly Ways To Keep The Kids Entertained This Summer!

Where To Buy The Best Mud Kitchens + Why They’re So Great For Kids

Best UK family days out

10 Best Picnic Spots In London

Best Summer Reads For Kids

How To Spot Birds While Hiking With Your Family

Thriving Through The Summer Holidays: Unleash Your Child’s Creativity With Montessori Principles

Sponsored content in collaboration with OutdoorToys.

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