Let's Manage Screen Time Together!

Excessive screen time has been linked to exacerbating symptoms of ADHD, including decreased attention span and increased impulsivity, due to the constant stimuli and potential for digital distraction.

Mobile Devices

The constant notifications and multitasking capabilities of mobile devices can exacerbate ADHD symptoms by fostering impulsivity and disrupting attention regulation.

Static Devices

Static devices such as game consoles, TVs, and computers can contribute to ADHD symptoms by promoting sedentary behaviour and overstimulation, exacerbating difficulties with attention.

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Time Slot Activity Duration Notes
Morning Structured Educational Content 30-60 minutes Encourage interactive learning apps or educational videos to engage attention.
Midday Physical Activity or Outdoor Play At least 60 minutes Encourage outdoor play or physical activities to promote movement and reduce screen time.
Afternoon Creative or Mindful Screen Time 30-60 minutes Allow for creative activities like drawing, music, or mindfulness apps to provide a break from structured tasks.
Evening Family Screen Time 30-60 minutes Engage in screen time together, such as watching a family movie or playing cooperative video games.
Bedtime No Screen Time N/A Establish a consistent bedtime routine without screens to promote quality sleep.

UK Government Recomendations

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that children under two should not have any screen time, whilst children aged two to five should have no more than one hour a day of sedentary screen time.

Eye Care

High levels of screen time are associated with around a 30% higher risk of myopia. Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error of the eye where distant objects appear blurry due to the eyeball being too long or the cornea being too curved.

Stay Healthy

Excessive screen time can contribute to various physical issues including eye strain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, disrupted sleep patterns, and increased risk of obesity and associated health problems due to sedentary behaviour.

ADHD Requires A Multifaceted Approach

Managing the growing problem of excessive screen time and its impact on ADHD requires a multifaceted approach. Here are some additional strategies:

Education and Awareness

Increasing awareness about the potential negative effects of excessive screen time on ADHD symptoms among parents, educators, and healthcare professionals can help promote informed decision-making and proactive management strategies.

Promotion of Alternative Activities

Encouraging participation in alternative activities such as outdoor play, sports, arts and crafts, reading, and socialising with peers can provide opportunities for children with ADHD to engage in stimulating and enriching experiences away from screens

Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals

Working closely with healthcare professionals, including paediatricians, psychologists, and therapists, can ensure comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and management of ADHD symptoms, including the impact of screen time.

Encouraging Mindful Screen Use

Promoting mindfulness practices and teaching children with ADHD to be intentional and aware of their screen use can help them develop self-regulation skills and better manage their attention and impulses while engaging with digital devices.

Modelling Healthy Behaviors

Parents and caregivers can lead by example by modelling healthy screen habits and demonstrating balanced screen use in their own lives, fostering positive attitudes towards technology and promoting mindful consumption.

Monitoring and Supervision

Regularly monitoring children's screen time usage and providing guidance and supervision as needed can help prevent excessive screen time and encourage responsible digital behaviour.

Setting Clear Boundaries 

Establishing clear and consistent rules around screen time limits, device usage, and designated screen-free zones within the home can help create a balanced and healthy environment for children with ADHD to thrive.

Research and Innovation

Continued research into the effects of screen time on ADHD and the development of innovative technologies and interventions aimed at mitigating these effects can further contribute to effective management strategies.

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ADHD Screen Time Facts

Excessive screen time, particularly from mobile phones, laptops, and TVs, has been linked to increased inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in individuals with ADHD. The constant stimulation and rapid content changes can exacerbate these symptoms.

While specific guidelines may vary, experts generally advise limiting screen time to no more than 1-2 hours per day for recreational purposes. Establishing clear boundaries and encouraging alternative activities, such as outdoor play and hobbies, can help manage screen time effectively.

Excessive screen time, particularly before bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns in children with ADHD. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, making it harder for children to fall asleep and achieve restful sleep, which can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.

Setting clear screen time limits, establishing tech-free zones in the home, and promoting alternative activities, such as reading, arts and crafts, and outdoor play, can help reduce reliance on screens. Additionally, modelling healthy screen habits and providing positive reinforcement for non-screen-based activities can encourage adherence to limits.

While all screens can contribute to ADHD symptoms, interactive screens, such as smartphones and tablets, may be particularly problematic due to their constant stimulation and engagement. Content that is fast-paced, highly stimulating, or designed for short attention spans can also exacerbate symptoms.

Research suggests that reducing screen time and promoting alternative activities can lead to improvements in ADHD symptoms, including attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, individual responses may vary, and a comprehensive approach that addresses various aspects of ADHD management is recommended.

Schools can implement policies and practices that promote balanced screen use, such as limiting screen time during school hours, providing breaks for physical activity, and integrating technology-free activities into the curriculum. Educators can also collaborate with parents to reinforce consistent screen time limits and promote healthy habits both at school and at home.