There was a time when be it the balconies or the playgrounds, children could be seen playing everywhere, during the evening. No sort of weather would stop them from coming out and play. I remember how even during the rains, we would go out and enjoy. Today, the real meaning of childhood is lost somewhere. School bags have become so heavy, that the weight has snatched away both time and energy from children. Even if they stay at home, doing nothing, they end up watching televisions. What’s surprising is, that many infants today have developed the habit of eating food only when some particular cartoon is streaming on mobile phones or televisions. This shows how today’s generation is obsessed with screens. How can that be good for their health?

World Health Organization on Tuesday released certain guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children below 5 years  of age. These guidelines were developed by a team of experts from WHO. According to them, currently around 23% of adults and 80% of adolescents aren’t physically active. The pattern of how your kids spend the 24 hours is the key to their health and has to be maintained from early age itself.

Kids below one year of age shouldn’t be restrained for a very long time, like by making them sit in high chairs. -WHO guidelines

Below 1 Year Of Age

  • Physical activity is important especially the floor games. For those who aren’t able to move on their own till now, atleast half an hour should be spent in prone position.
  • They shouldn’t be restrained for a very long time, like by making them sit in high chairs. For 0-3 months old children, 14-17 hours of sleep is required, whereas for 4-11 months old babies 12- 16 hours of good quality sleep is required.

1-2 Years Of Age

  • Physical Activity should be an essential part of a child’s routine. For children aged 1 year, screen time is not at all advisable. Having 11-14 hours of good sleep adds to good health.

3-4 Years Of Age

Sedentary screen time should not exceed 1 hour and good if even less than that.

  • Spending atleast 180 minutes indulging in physical activity is essentially required. This if spread throughout the day, is much better.
  • They should not be restrained for more than one hour and 10-13 hours of good quality sleep is equally important.
  • Sedentary screen time should not exceed 1 hour and good if even less than that.

Parents really need to understand that right from the childhood, whatever habits they allow in children, will be the ones they’ll be carrying in the near future. – Nisha Verma, pediatrician

Parents Need To Understand What’s Good For Their Children

Nisha Verma, a Kanpur based pediatrician, says, “ I often come across mothers who say that their child doesn’t have food until and unless his favourite cartoon is streaming in front of him. I’ve asked them to not encourage this habit but they come up with the excuse, “Atleast he is eating that way”. So parents really need to understand that right from the childhood, whatever habits they allow in children, will be the ones they’ll be carrying in the near future. Using mobile phones is not something children should do, but unfortunately, many children today become so engrossed in mobile phones that they spend no time in physical activity. This has an adverse affect on their overall development. It is the games that children play, which involve moderate to rigorous physical activity that make their body flexible and promote healthy growth.”

Picture credits- Irish Times

Read More:Our Inability To Control Kids’ Screen Time Might Cause Anxiety In Them

Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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