Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Excessive Screen Time Can Cause Developmental Delays by Kindergarten

Experts recommend no screen time for new-born kids up to two-year-olds Experts recommend no screen time for new-born kids up to two-year-olds
Ben Pena | 31 January, 2019, 01:36

While screen time amounts for children have been debated for decades, one study finds that longer screen time for children ages 2-5 could lead to learning delays.

The findings suggest too much screen time really can hold back children, the researchers said.

These tests included measures of their communication skills (for instance, forming full sentences), gross motor skills (running and walking), fine motor skills (tying shoelaces or copying letters), as well as problem-solving, and personal and social skills (serving themselves food). A similar result was found when children's screen time at three years old was compared with their development at five years.

The AAP recommends that children 1 to 2 years of age shouldn't exceed one hour of screen time per day.

As we more and more become people of screens and digital media, questions surrounding both the benefits and dangers of screen time also grow in number and variety.

Researchers, doctors, public health officials and parents are all trying to make sense of the impact of screen time on children.

In an e-mail, Dr. Max Davie, officer for health promotion for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in Britain, said the latest study shows only "a weak association between screen time and developmental outcomes".

Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend parents limit their preschool-aged children to just one hour a day of high-quality programming.

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"We found that, on average, children are viewing screens somewhere between two and three hours per day", Madigan said.

"Most of the research on children and screens has been cross-sectional, meaning that associations are based on a particular snapshot in time and don't reveal if there are lasting influences of screen time on children's outcomes", Madigan said.

Young children spend a lot of time fiddling with smartphones, tapping away at tablets and staring at TV screens. But before you conclude that this proves how such devices are bad, the study goes into detail on the link between screen time and learning.

Madigan was supported by the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation and the Canada Research Chairs program.

"Quality screen time is possible, but we need to take a look at what our kids are doing with the devices", Dr. Alex Dimitriu, board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California, told Healthline. Furthermore, it did not show which areas of development in particular were most affected by screen time or give an idea of how much was too much when it came to using devices.

"For those exceeding guidelines, parents can buffer some of the negative effects of screen time by ensuring it does not interfere with adequate sleep (which it often does in older children and youth), daily physical activity or active play, and plenty of enriching, stimulating and positive face to face interaction with parents and caregivers, and of course other children", Goldfield added.

Madigan encourages parents and guardians to set a good example and attempt to engage their children while they're watching the devices.

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