Risks of Digital Screen Time and Recommendations for Mitigating Adverse Outcomes in Children and Adolescents

Shahina Pardhan, John Parkin, Mike Trott, Robin Driscoll*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented move to emergency remote learning around the world, leading to increased digital screen time for children and adolescents. This review highlights the potential risk of increased screen time to the eye and general health and makes recommendations to mitigate the risks posed. METHODS: A narrative review of evidence of increased digital time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks linked to increased screen time and offer possible steps to mitigate these in students. RESULTS: Digital screen time was found to have increased for children and adolescents in all the studies examined during the pandemic and data suggests that this has an impact on eye and general health. We discuss the associated risk factors and adverse outcomes associated with increased digital screen time. CONCLUSIONS: This review offers evidence of increased digital time, highlights some of the well-known and not so well-known risks linked to increased screen time, and offers possible steps to mitigate these in children and adolescents during the pandemic, as well as offering schools and parents strategies to support the eye health of children and adolescents post-pandemic. We discuss a number of interventions to reduce the risk of eye strain, myopia, obesity, and related diseases that have been shown to be linked to increased digital screen time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of School Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American School Health Association.

Keywords

  • children
  • digital screen time
  • eye health
  • myopia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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