The Gulf Health Council has released a guide through its official accounts for managing screen time. This step is crucial to raise awareness among parents and children about the importance of controlling the use of smart devices and screens to avoid addiction and potential negative effects on mental and physical health.
Parents can follow some key tips provided in the guide, such as setting allowed time limits for children to spend on screens and ensuring the availability of alternative forms of entertainment, such as sports activities, outdoor games, reading, drawing, and music. It is also important to monitor the content of programs and games used by children and ensure they are age-appropriate and encourage learning and development.
Numerous studies confirm that 1 in 3 people in the Gulf region suffer from internet addiction due to spending most of their time on screens and smart devices. Children who spend less time on devices and screens have a lower risk of obesity. Additionally, there are several health problems associated with prolonged use of electronic devices. The guide also provides tools that enable parents to reduce screen time and establish clear and logical rules for their children to follow.
Parents should exercise patience, flexibility, and engage with their children, encouraging them to share their experiences with smart device usage and guiding them to use them in a healthy and responsible manner. They should also strive to spend time with their children away from screens and smart devices, fostering family relationships and positive communication.
The entire community can play a vital role in raising awareness among parents and children about the importance of controlling the use of smart devices and screens and providing alternative ways to spend leisure time. This can be achieved through organizing events and activities for children and youth and encouraging their participation in social and sports activities.
It is important to remember that the use of smart devices and screens can be beneficial and entertaining, but it should be balanced and responsible. Providing the minimum necessary screen time and offering other alternatives for entertainment and recreation is essential.