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Are you ever wonder what is the impact of screen time on child? Toddlers and infants nowadays engage too much with digital media. Usually, the electronic screen will serve as pacifiers to keep young children entertained or distracted while they juggle other needs. The screen captivates children’s attention allowing parents to relax and take a breather. While this electronic screen offers unparalleled access to information and entertainment, their pervasive presence raises significant questions about their effects on young minds. 

This article will discuss the complex relationships between screen time and the impact on child development. Are they helping or hurting? From learning cool stuff to getting lost in a game, yes screens offer a lot but they might also have downsides that parents need to know about. Screens provide access to a wealth of information, stimulating curiosity and facilitating learning. Educational apps, interactive games and digital resources help in skills development by limiting real-world exploration and hands-on experiences. 

What are the national guidelines for screen time?

  • No screen time for children younger than two years old
  • For children from 2-5 years, the screen time should limit no more than one hour per day
  • For those that from 5-17 years, the screen time should be no more than two hours of sedentary screen time per day (not including schoolwork)
National guidelines for screentime

National guidelines for screentime

How do screens affect child development and their ability to learn?

  • Hijack attention spans: For a brain to develop, it needs stimulation from the outside world instead of the screen. Importantly, they need time to process those stimuli. Digital screens will overstimulate their attention span and focus because of the constant absorption of on-screen images and messages. 
  • Screen curtail ability to control impulses: Boredom is very important to young children. They need to know how to cope with frustration and control their impulses. If they are constantly stimulated by screens, they will not rely on themselves or others for entertainment so that will lead to frustration and obstruct imagination and motivation.
  • Reduce empathy: Child’s ability to read faces and learn social skills will also be inhibited. It will also distract them from doing activities that help them boost their brain power like interacting with other kids. These factors are needed to develop empathy.  The only way young children will learn about non-verbal cues and the way to interpret them is face-to-face interactions. 

A child will not learn to stack up blocks and lego by watching it on screen, they will learn by touching the blocks, feeling the texture and by trial and error to solve the problems itself. So, it is very important to encourage children to interact with others through play with toys to exhibit their early problem solving skills and for creativity. 

  • Limit language development: Children learn language best between 1.5 years old to 3 years of age by engaging and interacting with adults that are talking and playing with them. So, if they are watching too much television or have too much screen time, they will be having “passive” listening or one-way interaction with the screen. 

How screen time impacts a child’s sleep?

  • Interrupting sleep hormone: The blue light from screens inhibits sleep hormone which can delay sleep time. Watching television and playing games is keeping our brain and body more alert and it will cause the kids less ready for sleep. And the lack of sleep can affect behavior and cognitive performance, also linked to obesity, which in turn can affect self-esteem and social isolation. 





How can parents help children to reduce screen time?

As we already know the impact of screen time on child, we need to know the way to solve it. So, this is some method to reduce screen time.

  • Set limits: Establish clear rules regarding when and how long children can use screens each day. Being consistent is the key.
  • Promote alternative activities: Encourage children to engage in non-screen activities such as outdoor play, reading, arts, crafts or playing board games. This is important to keep them entertained and engaged.
  • Create screen-free zones: Set certain areas of the home, such as bedrooms or dining areas to encourage family interaction and relaxation without screens.
  • Be a role model: Be a role model by demonstrating healthy screen habits. Limit your own screen time and prioritize face-to-face interactions with your kids.
  • Use screen time wisely: Prioritize educational or interactive content that promotes learning and creativity. Monitor the content they watch and ensure it’s age-appropriate and aligned with the family values. 


In conclusion, it is important to acknowledge that excessive screen time can have negative impacts on children’s development. This includes effects on physical health, mental well-being, cognitive development, and social development. While screens provide opportunities for learning, entertainment, and social interaction, moderation and balance are key to ensuring healthy development in children.




Joshi, A., & Hinkley, T. (2021, August). Too much time on screens? Screen time effects and guidelines for children and young people.; Australian Institute of Family Studies.‌

Webb, A. (2023). Childhood Screen Time and Child Development. Family Perspectives5.

Cross, J. (2019, August 8). What Does Too Much Screen Time Do to Kids’ Brains? NewYork-Presbyterian; Health Matters.

Nelson, C. (2020). Babies need humans, not screens. Unicef.