Impact of Screen Time on Children
posted on December 13, 2017
It is a hot topic right now; screen time for children. The most common questions are; what age should I fist expose my child to screen media? How does screen use affect my child? What are the pros and cons of screen time for children? What are some of the optimal programming choices?
First, let us define screen time and digital media.
The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) defines screen time and digital media as follows:
refers to time spent on any screen, including smartphones, tablets, television, video games, computers or wearable technology.
refers to content transmitted over the Internet or computer networks on all devices, unless particular ones are specified
Where every child is different the recommended screen time for a child under 2 is 0.
Potential Developmental Benefits:
- Increased language and literacy skills (2 years old and up)
- Fosters positive racial attitudes and imaginative play
Possible Developmental Risks
- Heavy TV viewing (2hrs/day), though not proven, may cause significant language delays
- Attentional difficulties are only clearly apparent in children who watch more than 7 hours/day.
- High amounts of background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years.
- Reduces the amount and quality of parent-child interaction and distracts from play
- E-book sound effects and animation can interfere with story comprehension and event sequencing in preschoolers when compared with paper books.
Click here to read the CPS official position statement and learn if your child is getting too much screen time and exposure to digital media.
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