The moment one reads the topic, the very first response would be, NO: Screen time is not good for babies and toddlers. We have seen that technology has been the one which is replacing the everyday use things for us adults. Our watches, cameras, wallet, nearly everything and their roles has been taken up by the mobile phones. The fact is, even the toys of our kids, now are getting replaced. How? Ever wondered why so many kids use their parent’s mobile so often? That is because they have also been drawn towards the screens around. Often, we as parents and the immediate family of the child think that Laptops and mobiles and other gadgets are great for entertaining the child. We often use it as babysitters when we are busy or not available at home. Hence, the role of media now transcends the boundaries and reaches our little ones directly. Particularly for our toddlers, we have technological stimulation more than anyone. Several rhymes, games etc. are easy available and further specifically designed to target them as audience. We can’t and are not denying that it is not important. These games, rhymes, fun with learning tools are indispensable for their cognitive growth but the harmful effects on child’s eyes and brain capacity is something we genuinely cannot ignore and need to take care of.

Adults should consider the fact that whatever the child is being exposed to through screens is age- appropriate and guided for time and the content.

UNICEF parenting also promotes the idea and has been extending a campaign named ‘Babies need Humans, not Screens’. It admits that Screens captivate children’s attention in a way almost nothing else does, allowing parents a bit of a breather.

Moreover, children are now required to come and join school through virtual mode and undoubtedly this remains a point of greater accountability on schools and parents to keep it short and a viable experience for the children. It is also very important to consider the 21st century, wherein we do need our kids to be techno savvy but giving it more than required in the hands of kids would prove to be detrimental. We at Junior Delhi School consider this well and make the child’s engagement with screens less by involving them more and more in concrete activity set up in online classes as well.

It is well researched that the screens used by babies and toddlers have a significant impact on not just physical and cognitive health, but also the social skills of the children. The children now, because of the excessive use of screens have become attuned to them and lack social skills. They face difficulty during face to face interactions and it can make them more socially withdrawn in coming years of their life.  It is hence true that screens are hijacking the children’s attention span.  That means the more the children watch the screens, the less is their attention span. That makes the children more conditioned towards rapidly changing stimulus like the screens and demand the same in other times which is humanly not possible. Their patience level hence is also a lot hampered.

Growing number of nuclear families is also a reason for the increase in screen time and its negative effect on children. Because of the huge family structure earlier, the children were more involved with their grandparents and cousins, but now their focus has shifted to mobiles and other technological gadgets considering the less engagement and interactions within families.

Further, we should once reflect on how our screen time as adults’ members of society makes impact on children. We ourselves get so involved in technological devices and media modes that unknowingly, we teach our kids the same .Hence, as there are two sides to coin, similarly we can see that Screen time is beneficial for the children’s knowledge building, fun and getting exposure of world and technology but it is also harmful for health and well- being of babies and toddlers.