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The EXACT amount of time your child should be spending on the internet

The EXACT amount of time your child should be spending on the internet before it hurts their school results – and how much will HELP their grades

  • Recent study revealed recommended hours children should be spending online
  • Those who spend multiple hours gaming tend to receive poorer school grades
  • Study also said girls have a ‘slightly higher’ risk of internet and gaming addiction

Children should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen before their school work starts to suffer, research shows. 

The University of NSW study found if this blew out to more than four hours, students saw a 17 per cent dip in their ability to beat their peers at maths.

NAPLAN reading scores also suffered, with kids who spend too long gaming 15 per cent less likely to achieve a higher mark than their classmates.

Students from a very young age can develop an addiction to gaming or the internet if not supervised (stock image)

However, children who scrolled through their phones or played video games for one to two hours a night were actually 13 per cent more likely to do better at reading than those whose parents banned screens in school nights. 

Raaj Kishore Biswas, who conducted the research on behalf of UNSW, said parental supervision was the crucial aspect of the study.     

‘The results showed parental monitoring and/or self-regulation of timing and intensity of internet use and gaming are essential to prevent negative effects on academic performance,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

Failing to monitor excessive time spent on devices could result in an early-life addiction, which saw some students constantly feeling lethargic due to a lack of regular sleep or opting to skip school.

The UNSW study, which incorporated data from Telethon Institute’s young minds matter survey, also revealed girls aged 11 to 17 were more likely to develop internet and gaming addiction than boys of the same age. 

NSW Secondary Principals’ Council president Craig Petersen said gaming dependency needed to be addressed, particularly in those who sacrificed sleep. 

‘As we know, the brain needs a certain amount of sleep each night,’ he said. 

‘Other children who engage in excessive use of technology can also exhibit aggressive behaviour [at times] because they lack the social skills to interact with their peers and teachers.’