Children & Screen Time - CARiNG Pharmacy

Children & Screen Time

Cute kid with tablet in the dark.

I am always thankful for being born in the 90s. Those were the times when we had a balance between the time spent playing at the playground and the time spent watching television. I had to wake up early in the morning to watch cartoons. By noon, TV stations would start airing programs that appeal to other demographics. I had no choice but to play with my toys and to play with my brother by this time.

Kids nowadays are more lucky – or unlucky, depending on how you view it – as they can select what to play and what to watch on a smartphone. This significantly increases the time spent on the screen.

Parents are constantly worried about their children spending too much time on the screen. This is understandable as too much screen time can be detrimental to the physical, mental and social development of children.

Too much screen time may lead to:

1.Sleep issues

Excessive time spent on screen may lead to irregular sleep schedules.

2. Obesity

More time spent on the screen means less time spent on physical activities.

3. Behaviour problems

Social and attention problems may arise from excessive screen time.

4. Impaired academic performance

Many children ended up sacrificing their study time for screen time. 

Knowing the dangers of excessive screen time, parents are always finding ways to combat this ‘addiction’. Parents may try out the following methods:

1. Set a good example
You must first walk the talk. Show them that there are alternative ways to spend leisure time, such as reading a book, playing outside, or engaging in hobbies.

2. Don’t eat in front of the screen
Allowing your children to eat in front of the screen will increase their screen time. This will also cause mindless eating which increases the risk of obesity

3. Limit access to devices
Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom. This eases the process of monitoring their time spent on screen.

4. Be patient and understanding
Reducing screen time might be challenging initially, especially if your child is used to spending a lot of time on screens. Be patient and understanding during this transition, and provide positive reinforcement for their efforts.

The prevalence of nearsightedness among children now is multiple folds higher as compared to the 70s. This can be attributed to the increased time spent indoors.

In this era, screen time can never be fully avoided. However, parents should limit the screen time of their children for the sake of their children’s physical, mental and social health.

A quick tip for both you and your children to relieve the strain on the eyes:
For every 20 minutes of screen time, you give your eyes a 20 second break and try to look 20 feet away!


1. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. How too much screen time affects kids’ eyes: Tips to prevent eye strain [Internet]. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; 2018 [cited 2023 Jul 21]. Available from:,seconds%2C%20and%20blink%2020%20times.

2. Harris B. How too much screen time can impact a child’s vision [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic Newsroom; 2022 [cited 2023 Jul 21]. Available from:

3. Screen Time and children: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2023 Jul 21]. Available from:

4. Jill Christensen CNP. Children and too much screen time [Internet]. Mayo Clinic Health System; 2022 [cited 2023 Jul 21]. Available from:

5. Tips for setting screen time limits as a parent [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2022 [cited 2023 Jul 21]. Available from: