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Do you know the hidden dangers that come along with excessive screen time? Your child could be losing sleep and falling behind on school projects. See how these screens are impacting your child's health.
An average 8- to 18-year-old looks at a screen around 7.5 hours a day. That is the equivalent of 114 days out of the year and 68 of those days are also spent solely watching television.
Television screen exposure is linked to BMI and the average child consumes 18.5 grams of fat (or 167 calories) for each additional hour of television that is watched (and the television commercials featuring high-sugar and high-fat snacks aren't helping either).
Not only is screen time affecting weight, but it is also affecting children's sleep. Screen time is linked to irregular sleeping patterns and disturbances in children 6 to 12 years old.
Watching television is the number one after-school activity and kids who watch more than three hours of TV a day are at high risk of poor homework completion and grades. They also have a more negative attitude toward school.
Television isn't the only thing affecting kids; video games are just as unhealthy. Video games are linked to increased food intake and weight gain and 97 percent of kids play them regularly.
Not only are the number of hours children are watching TV increasing, but the age at which they are exposed is also getting younger. Right now, the average age for a child to be exposed to TV is nine months old and by the time they are three, one-third of children have a television in their bedroom.
Remember, you are your child's biggest role model and the average adult spends half of their leisure time watching television. If we want our children to make healthy changes to their lifestyle, we must make the same changes.
Up Next: 5 Tips for a Family Digital Detox
Everyone in the family—even toddlers—are screen savvy, spending lots of time on tablets, phones and computers. Want to know how your kids can become less dependent on the screen? Check out our tips!
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