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Digital Health and Wellness in children

While our technological devices have become our only medium of communication, learning, and entertainment during the COVID19 crisis, we need to be precautious as they come with a set of problems such as excessive use of Digital Media, Eye Strain, Gadget Addiction and so much more. It is essential to take precautions and inculcate better practices that promote moderation.

Pointers for parents to keep in mind when establishing guidelines for children’s technology use, in a world where many children have a tablet or smartphone.

While we are under Lockdown, we are staying connected with the world, only through our gadgets. But as the popular saying goes, ‘Too much of anything is not good for nothing!’.

Few ways to Improve Your Child’s Digital Health

  1. Manage screen time
  2. Promote physical activity
  3. Monitor mental wellness
  4. Practice stress-reduction exercises
  5. Set rules for bedtime mobile use
  6. Talk about online safety
  7. Discuss the differences between productivity and technology.
  8. Talk to kids about digital health, ethics.

Digital Media and devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face interaction with family, friends, and teachers plays an important role in promoting children’s learning and healthy development.

So, Here’s are some risks of excessive use of Digital media and best practices to follow while taking care of your digital health and wellness.

Don’t overreact. Like it or not, technology is an important part of our modern world. It won’t help your child if you set overly restrictive limits or send the message that technology is something to fear. Instead, focus on teaching healthy habits that will stay with your child for a lifetime.

Teach kids about technology from a young age. Explain that tablets, computers, and other media devices are not toys, and should be handled with care. Discuss with kids the many benefits of technology as well as the risks. Don’t frighten them, but discuss the importance of respecting privacy and protecting personal information in age-appropriate ways. These conversations should be ongoing and should become more detailed as your children get older.

Use your judgment. While screen-time limits are often a good idea, experts caution that parents shouldn’t assume technology use is inherently harmful. Consider the context when establishing your family’s rules for technology use. Video chatting with grandparents is different from playing a video game, for example. If you’re entertaining your preschooler on a plane, the world won’t end if she has a little extra screen time that day. If your son is doing research for a school paper, that computer time shouldn’t necessarily count as his only screen time for the day.

Protect bedtime. Studies show that using digital media at night can interfere with sleep quality. Consider restricting the use of phones, tablets, and computers for at least 30 minutes before bed. Think twice about letting your child use those devices in his or her bedroom after lights out.

Pay attention. With younger kids, it’s easy to see what they’re doing online. As they get older, it’s not so easy to look over their shoulder. Have open, honest discussions about what sites and type of content are off-limits. Do your research to understand the media your child is using, and check out your child’s browser history to see what sites they visit. Explore software to filter or restrict access to content that’s off-limits.

Teach good online behavior. People often say things online that they’d never say to someone’s face. According to a 2014 study by the Internet security firm McAfee, 87 percent of teens have witnessed cyberbullying. Talk to your children about the importance of being respectful in their digital interactions. Encourage them to come to you if they witness cyberbullying or other troubling information online.

Discuss digital decision-making. It can be hard to discern whether some websites are reliable sources of information or not. Have conversations with your child about how to evaluate authenticity and accuracy online. Explain why they shouldn’t download unfamiliar programs, click on suspicious links or share personal information on unknown apps or websites. Also, teach your children not to respond to unsolicited messages from strangers — and to tell you if they get them.

Foster real-life friendships. Some kids who find it difficult to connect with peers spend more time online than playing with friends in real life. But digital friendships aren’t a replacement for the real thing. Help your child develop social skills and nurture his or her real-life relationships.

In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills.

However, Akshara International School will suggest that such screen-time limits don’t go far enough in providing guidance for parents. We contend that instead of focusing on how much time a child spends on digital media, parents should consider the content of that media and the context in which they’re using it.

Following such tips may Promote healthy technology use for children

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