When is the ideal time for children to use a mobile phone? Check here

Parents need to know the ideal time for children to use smartphones to prevent addiction when children become proficient in playing with gadgets.

The use of gadgets has spread across all age groups, from adults to young children who are skilled in using these sophisticated devices.

This has become a concern for some parents. Therefore, pay attention to the ideal time for children to use smartphones.

It cannot be denied that gadgets are an important means of sharing information and providing interesting entertainment for children.

However, parents must be aware of gadget addiction, which can occur in children. That is why limiting the duration of smartphone use for children is crucial.

Ideal Time for Children to Use Smartphones Based on Age

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already provided guidelines for the ideal time for children to use smartphones, which is around one hour.

However, parents can adjust this limitation according to their child's age. Here is a complete explanation:

0-2 Years Old

Parents should not introduce smartphones to children of this age at all.

They should focus on developing motor and cognitive skills during this period. Providing gadgets is not helpful and may hinder their development.

If the child is already 1.5 years old or older, if necessary, parents may allow some screen time to provide entertainment and prevent fussiness.

However, try to limit it to only one hour. Also, remember to accompany and supervise them.

Age 2-5 Years

At this age, parents are advised to give gadgets for only one hour. This is because the ideal sleep duration for a 2-year-old child is 12-14 hours.

The remaining time should be used for activities that promote motor and cognitive abilities.

Parents can engage their children in activities such as riding a bike or learning to color to minimize unhealthy screen time.

If you give a mobile phone to your child, make sure to supervise closely. Keep a close watch because children are easily curious.

It can be dangerous if they access websites that are not suitable for their age, such as pornography or others. During that one hour, try to intersperse other activities as well.

This is to prevent the child's body from feeling tired from being in the same position for a long time.

Ages 6 and Above

There is no specific duration for children to use a mobile phone at this age. This is because children can already engage in meaningful communication.

Ask the child about their preferred schedule. Parents can discuss how long the child can hold the gadget.

Undoubtedly, apart from entertainment, children also need gadgets for online learning. Make detailed agreements about the daily schedule.

Provide an understanding of the ideal time for gadget play to the child. Then, parents can arrange activities according to the child's desires and needs.

Encourage the child to take breaks between playing with gadgets, such as helping with house cleaning, playing with pets, and many other activities.

This is aimed at preventing children from being in the same position for a long time.

The Dangers of Unrestricted Gadget Use

Parents should take this matter seriously. Even a slight negligence can expose their beloved children to a multitude of dangerous risks. One of the main dangers is gadget addiction.

So, what are the negative impacts of excessive smartphone addiction due to gadget use? Here is an explanation:

Weak Cognitive and Motor Skills

By not paying attention to the ideal time for children to use smartphones, they can experience cognitive and motor impairments.

As mentioned earlier, the ages between 0-6 years are crucial for children to enhance their motor and cognitive abilities.

During this period, they should be engaged in playing or activities that involve direct interaction with the outside world.

Introducing electronic devices will prevent children from developing and practicing their cognitive and motor skills.

Researchers also suggest that excessive gadget use inhibits communication skills.

Moreover, children will struggle to build their vocabulary and express themselves.

When this happens, it is advisable for parents to completely stop their children's gadget usage.

Parents can provide alternative options to replace smartphone usage, such as buying them toys.

Decreased Immunity

This is the danger of parents not paying attention to the ideal time for their children to use mobile phones, namely the decrease in the child's immune system.

This is because the child lacks physical activity, which has a negative impact on their body.

Children are more prone to obesity or excessive weight gain due to lack of movement.

Furthermore, prolonged use of mobile phones in a fixed position can also have detrimental effects on the child's body.

Among them is pain in the hands due to prolonged finger movement on the gadget screen.

There can also be pain in the neck, back, and other parts of the body due to poor blood circulation.

The eyes can also become dry, and in the worst case, develop myopia.

Abnormal Behavior

The final impact is the worst effect that can occur in children, namely behavioral disorders.

By not adhering to the ideal time for children to use mobile phones, children can become heavily addicted.

At this stage, their behavior starts to become abnormal.

From defiance and disobedience towards parents, difficulty in controlling their own emotions, to symptoms of ADHD. This is certainly a different level.

If parents notice such symptoms in their children, it is best to consult a child psychologist.

Tips for Implementing Ideal Gadget Usage Time

Parents don't need to worry anymore. Here are some tips on how to limit the duration of mobile phone use for children:

  • Parents must be firm in setting limits based on the durations discussed in the above points.
  • Monitor which apps are on the child's phone and remove unnecessary or potentially dangerous ones. This will allow the child to use the gadget with quality time.
  • Avoid getting into the habit of giving the child a gadget just to calm them down when they're fussy. This will make the child accustomed to it and they will become more demanding in order to play with the gadget.
  • Create a detailed schedule of daily activities with the child, including meal times, playtime, study time, and screen time for gadgets.
  • Set an example for the child by not excessively using your own mobile phone. Remember, parental actions serve as examples for their children.

Parents must pay close attention to the ideal time for children to use mobile phones in order to avoid potential risks.

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