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When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children

By Rajesh Vohra

Winter is the time to bask in the sun, stroll around the lanes and devour all the great delicacies. While indulging in all these activities, parents should remember that their little ones need more protection during this season. Winter days come with a lot of smog, and when temperatures are really chilly outside. A mask is something that can protect a baby from various environmental hazards and also protect the little nose and mouth from the harsh winds during the winter season.


A mask specially designed for kids: A mask has become a clothing accessory over the last couple of years, and people tend to wear them for longer hours. When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children. There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3-6 and for kids in the age group of 7-12 years.

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Parents are constantly worried about their kids spending too much time on screens, and it's hard to set limits.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

Have your children pleaded and negotiated with you for extended screen time? 'Just five minutes more please, sounds familiar, right? However, when the five minutes deadline is over, we get to see their tantrums and at times their temper, as if they have some sort of a nervous breakdown. The dominance of screens in the lives of children has been a pressing challenge for parents and the pandemic has worsened it exponentially. Parents are constantly worried about their kids spending too much time on screens, and it's hard to set limits.


Studies by 'The American Academy of Paediatrics' recommends:

>Avoiding screen exposure for children less than 18 months of age,
>Introducing children 18 to 24 months of age to screen media slowly,
>Limiting screen time to an hour a day for children from 2 to 5 years of age,

However, 87 per cent of children have screen time exceeding these recommendations.


Increased screen viewing is becoming common in children with working parents being busy and finding inadequate time to spend with them. Also, screen viewing often comes as an easier option for parents as they go about their chores. But can we blame either the child or parent for this? It is an extremely difficult task to keep kids entertained round the clock when they are indoors. Most parents unwillingly cave into more screen time as a last resort despite knowing its harmful effects. Their eyes are the first to be affected due to the constant staring at screens. This is followed by back problems in young kids because they tend to slouch whilst doing this. It directly affects their body posture. It also stifles their creative thinking and interferes with social skills development.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The researchers also found that regardless of when they joined social media, early adolescents more frequently engaged in positive digital behaviour than negative ones.

Using social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly related to more problematic digital behaviour compared to those who joined these platforms when they were older, finds a new study. The study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, showed that joining Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly associated with having online friends or joining social media sites that parents would disapprove of, more problematic digital technology behaviour, more unsympathetic online behaviour, and greater likelihood of online harassment and sexual harassment victimisation.

However, some of these effects were lessened when parents restricted phone use and limited how often their kids checked social media. "Social media sites all require a minimum age of 13 to register, but the reality is that many users are younger than that: one-third of our sample had already started using social media at age 11 or 12 and another one-third had begun at age 10 or younger," said lead author Linda Charmaraman, director of the Youth, Media and Wellbeing Research Lab at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW).

"This study helps us understand the risks and benefits for kids and tweens, so that parents and policymakers can make decisions that prioritise their well being," she added. The team surveyed 773 middle schoolers in the Northeast US about their social media initiation, digital behaviour, and parental restrictions on digital use.

girl and boy using Android smartphones Using social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly related to more problematic digital behaviour finds a new study. | Photo by McKaela Taylor on Unsplash

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Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event.

In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.

Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:

Every child responds differently to disturbing events:
What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.

a boy crying tears for his loss Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

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