A TYPICAL child in WA could easily spend at least 50 hours stuck staring at screens over the next fortnight during the Easter school holidays, a digital parenting expert has warned.
Dr Kristy Goodwin said parents needed to ensure their children “unplugged” as much as possible during the holidays, as research pointed to mounting physical and developmental risks associated with too much screen time.
She said kids were suffering from “nature deficit disorder”, saying young brains needed time spent playing outdoors to properly develop.
NaturePlay WA communications manager Katherine Healy said devices could be used in positive ways to encourage kids to get outdoors and be active, listing geocaching and Pokemon Go as examples.
“But if something is designed to be played sitting on a couch, not moving for hours then that’s a really bad thing … it’s about making other things (in the real world) more attractive than the screen,” she said.