Screen Time

Screen Time

The other day I went to the UPS store. The representative who waited on me was alone except for her daughter who was sobbing. I smiled and asked her name. I tried to engage, thinking it might calm her down. When I asked the mother her age, she said she just turned one.

She then picked her up, put her in the corner, and handed her an I-pad with a movie. No more crying. Problem solved. An easy, stress-free way to keep her from fussing. I found it understandable and disturbing at the same time.

When I got home, I looked up the research on children and screen time. They (The American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Development Institute and The Mayo Clinic) suggest no screen time for infants less than one-year-old.

What do they recommend? Lots of physical activity and lots of sleep.

For children between 18 months and 24 months, they recommend high-quality programs along with parental supervision and engagement. When a child reaches the age of 2, the recommended screen time is not more than an hour and less is best. They give additional guidelines for physical activity and sleep. Also, for children 3 to 5, the 1-hour time limit continues.

Why all the restrictions?

They link learning difficulties to excessive screen time. It diminishes attention span and concentration skills. Seems odd. If you’ve ever watched a child on a screen, it seems like the opposite.

Their studies discouraged reading books on a digital device. Reading print materials resulted in better comprehension than books read on a digital device.

So moderation is critical and being conscious of the quick fix may be worth a ‘think’.

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Here are a few of the references I explored if you are interested




Be Kind

September 6, 2019

Anxiety in Children

September 20, 2019