Juggling sun hours and technology for Aussie kids

ELIZABETH ANDAL

Kids aren't spending enough time outdoors. Photo: Pixabay

Kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors. Photo: Pixabay

Parents are being warned to monitor their children’s usage, however a fine balance remains the key to the complicated relationship between children and technology.

Alarming statistics have revealed that children are spending too much time on technology and not enough time playing in the sun.

Major company Golden Circle addressed this issue with the creation of the Golden Circle Sun Hour, to raise awareness and encourage parents to ensure their little ones are having some time off their devices.

“We’ve seen over the last few months that more and more people have been talking about how much time kids spend on their digital devices and particularly online screens,” a spokesperson of Golden Circle said.

“And we’ve done some research ourselves and we found that kids are spending more than 20 hours a week online, and the recommended amount is only 2 hours a day.”

Golden Circle’s statistics have found that children between the ages of 8-16 are spending 30 hours a week online and children between the ages of 5-7 are spending triple the amount of on-screen time recommended by the government.

Consequentially, this means children are choosing to spend less time playing outside in the sun, leading to a variety of health problems including obesity.

“We know the internet is a huge part of everyday life but it’s the effects that that’s having on our kids and as a true Australian brand, Golden Circle wanted to kind of instil that right passage that every Australian should have the right to be outside.”

Additionally, every hour pledged to spending time off technology and in the sun will contribute towards donating bikes to children in need.

While this overuse of technology can be detrimental to children’s health, the benefits of technology as a learning tool should not be ignored, according to General Practitioner and father of four Dr Daryl Dodt.

“I think the Golden Circle Sun Hour is great for parents and their children who struggle to find the time to commit to time for physical activity in this crazy world of technology we’re in today,” he said.

Technology can be a great learning tool for children. Photo: flickr

 

“I’ve been a father for almost 20 years now and even before that I worked with a lot of young kids and I know that you should be striving to find that balance between technology and play not just for one hour, but all the time.”

With the prevalence of technology in modern life, Dr Dodt stresses that over-restricting a child’s use of technology may not be the solution to the lack of time children spend in the sun.

Alongside the recommended amount of playtime in the sun, technology can provide children with skills they might find useful later in life, such as typing, and the knowledge of how to operate certain devices.

“Technology today is life, and it’s always going to be there. But when you use it in moderation it can serve as a very valuable learning tool for young children.”

“I think the most important thing is striking a balance…I remember as a kid I was told I watched too much television, however I feel like I learned a lot of valuable things which furthered me to where I am today.”

“Part of being a parent is learning where to find that balance and only you know what the right thing is for your children.”

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