| Screentime

Reducing Screen Time During School Holidays

| 23 Mar 2023

With school holidays almost here, it's important for parents and guardians to limit screen time and keep their kids safe online. Get tips on reducing screen time during the holidays with Safer Kids Online!

When school's out and the holidays are in full swing, it's easy to let our kids' screen time get a little out of hand...!

With fewer structured activities on offer and less parental guidance thanks to work commitments, it's understandable that children turn more readily towards tablets and smartphones - they provide entertainment, connection with friends, access to online education tools, and parents can rest assured their kids are staying safe at home. But is all this extra screen time really beneficial for their development? 

It’s important for parents to be aware of this growing issue – not only does increased internet usage among today’s youth carry potential physical risks, but it could also adversely affect an entire generation’s mental health and well-being. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the increasing prevalence of tech use during holidays away from school, why it matters and what steps to take to reduce screen time. 

The Benefits and Risks of Increased Screen Time

During the holidays, children are often keen to spend more time with their electronic devices. While screen time can provide entertainment and learning opportunities, it's important to consider the risks that come with excessive usage. 

Increased screen time can lead to various health issues, such as physical inactivity, sleep problems, headaches, and eye strain. On the other hand, screen time can also benefit children by providing educational content, socialisation opportunities, and creative outlets. 

As a parent or caregiver, it's crucial to balance the benefits and risks of screen time and set appropriate limitations to ensure your child's physical and mental health.

Establishing Good Habits and Finding Balance

As the holiday season approaches, setting boundaries for your kids when it comes to using tech devices is crucial. Choosing what is appropriate for their age and limiting their access to these devices is important. It's no secret that excessive screen time can negatively impact a child's physical and mental health, so take the time to establish rules and guidelines for tech usage. 

  • Encourage other engaging activities that allow your children to take a break from screens and stay active such as spending quality time with family, outdoor activities, and reading books (why not purchase a new one for the start of the holiday break?)
  • Creating structure: schedule activities around screen time to encourage healthy lifestyle habits
  • Making use of parental controls to manage usage - apps available include OurPact and FamilyTime
  • When screen time is in full swing, encourage educational apps like Immerse AR and Crazy Gears. TikTok is one to keep an eye on - learn more in our blog, 'Is TikTok safe for kids?'. 

Setting boundaries and limiting access to tech devices can lead to a more fulfilling and memorable holiday season for your family. These small tips can make a big difference!

Enjoy the holidays!

Want to learn more about how to help your child be safe online?

Digital Matters is a free and easy-to-use resource created to help keep your child stay safe in an increasingly digital world. Interactive quizzes and dynamic story-based learning can help you bring to life important topics such as healthy online behaviours, keeping personal information secure and cyberbullying. The activities are aligned with the UKCIS’ Education for a Connected World Framework. 

Watch this video from Internet Matters to help your children balance screen time and adopt a healthy digital diet. 

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