Kids and screen time: what doctors have to say

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This post is brought to you in partnership with Relay. All opinions are our own.

In today’s world, screens are everywhere, and they affect us in many different ways. Knowing that many parents may have reservations about allowing screen time for their children, we partnered with Relay to learn what doctors have to say about the effects of screen time — and what Relay can do to help.

Screen time may affect eating habits.

If your child is constantly staring at a screen, chances are good that their eating habits will be negatively impacted. For example, kids often fail to realize when they have eaten enough to be full if they eat in front of a screen, according to some studies. Not wanting to stop playing a game on their phone may cause kids to put off eating entirely. By encouraging a sedentary lifestyle, screens can influence children not to exercise, harming their digestive abilities and adding a risk of obesity.

As a screen-free phone alternative, Relay can help alleviate some of these problems. Its GPS capabilities encourage your children to roam and play while assuaging your fears. By moving around more and engaging in physical play, kids can develop a healthier lifestyle.

Screen time can influence kids’ sleep cycles.

Many phone and computer screens emit blue light that can drastically affect sleep patterns. Researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted a study of screen users and found that they experienced significantly less REM deep sleep than their non-screen-using counterparts.

It is nearly impossible to overstate how important sleep is for the healthy development of children. A poor sleep cycle can result in the development of a mood disorder, weight gain and even difficulties in school due to an inability to concentrate.

One way that Relay can help is by providing kids with the same communication options as phones without the harmful blue light emissions. Not only does the lack of a screen encourage outdoor activities, but your child can talk to their friends who also have Relays instead of texting.

Screen time can harm relationship-building skills.

Part of growing up is learning how to interact with other people in a social setting. While phones and instant messaging systems can connect people all over the world, they are no substitute for face-to-face conversations and relationships. If you are the parent of a screen-using child, you may have experienced an erosion of your relationship already, as screens tend to encourage seclusion.

By going screenless, or seriously limiting the amount of screen time your child is allowed, you can build those relationships again and teach your kids how to be sociable. Having a Relay is one way to do this, as the screen-free cell phone encourages interaction without distraction.

For more information on how screens can affect children, and what parents can do to help, check out Relay’s blog post on the subject.

Want to learn more about Relay? Click here for more information.

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