A recent study conducted among toddlers has predicted that spending a massive chunk of time while staring at the screen has been linked with a poorer development in future. These children tend to perform below average for development screen tests conducted later in their childhood.
The study which was published by JAMA Pediatrics journal dated Monday found that there was a significant direct association between the average screen time for children aged 2 & 3 along with the development seen among children between ages 3 & 5.
Development test includes growth in terms of communication, problem-solving, motor skills, as well as Interpersonal social skills. All these sections are tested via the use of a tool named as “Ages and Stages Questionnaire”. Signs of these developments can easily be noticed in their behaviour pattern like the ability to stack small blocks of toys atop each other.
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, it is limited for the children between the ages of 2 and 5 to be restricted to 1 hour per day and this hour should be limited to viewing high-quality programs. On average, the overall viewing hours for children in the study was 2 to 3 hours every day. This points out to the fact that a major section of the children population in the country has been exceeding the guidelines set by paediatricians.
According to Sheri Madigan, the research chair and assistant professor for the University of Calgary, the higher viewing time for children aged 2 & 3 brought in the onset of delays in development milestones as they attain at the age of 3 to 5. This study points out to the fact that when exposed in excess, the screen time might have detrimental consequences for the development of the children. To make it easier for children to understand, parents can relate it with giving their kids junk food. It is okay when experienced in small dosage. However, in excess, anything can be bad and so is screen time.
For children older than this age group, parents have been encouraged to create a rather personalized media planning for the children. However, American Academy of Paediatrics notes that teens and children have to sleep a minimum of 8 hours with 1 hour of strength and cardio based physical activity. This will help them develop better relationships with close family members and friends while being better at other factors such as problem-solving.