New Study Shows The Harmful Effect Of Too Much “Screen Time” For Children

Too much screen time can lead to less-developed brains according to new study Spending too much time with iPads, tablets, TVs, and other screens might be harming youngsters’ brain...

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Too much screen time can lead to less-developed brains according to new study

Spending too much time with iPads, tablets, TVs, and other screens might be harming youngsters’ brain development, found a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics. Brain scans of children ages three to five years found that children who spent more than one hour a day on “screen time” had less-developed brains than their peers.

“This is the first study to document associations between higher screen use and lower measures of brain structure and skills in preschool-aged kids,” Dr. John Hutton, the lead author of the study, said. “This is important because the brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years,” Hutton said. “That’s when brains are very plastic and soaking up everything, forming these strong connections that last for life.”

The study also found that children who use more screen time tend to have parents who also spend excessive amounts of time on their phones, computers, and tablets. These parents might be spending less time talking to and interacting with their kids. They also spend less time engaging in non-screen activities, such as reading books, with their children.

“It’s known that kids that use more screen time tend to grow up in families that use more screen time,” Hutton said. “Kids who report five hours of screen time could have parents who use 10 hours of screen time. Put that together and there’s almost no time for them to interact with each other.”

Experts recommend that parents limit kids’ screen time to one hour a day. They also say children under a year old should not be using tablets or phones.

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