close
Magazine
Advertisement
 

The Scary Reason You Need to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time ASAP

New research suggests that using too much screen time to keep your child occupied may do more harm than good when it comes to development.

The Scary Reason You Need to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time ASAP
iStock
The Scary Reason You Need to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time ASAP
Advertisement

You may want to think twice before using a smartphone or your child’s favourite TV show as a digital babysitter.

New research by the University of Toronto and presented at the 2017 Paediatric Academic Societies Meeting found that the more time a child spent in front of an electronic screen, the greater their risk of expressive speech delays (the ability to accurately express his or her wants and needs).

“Handheld devices are everywhere these days. While new paediatric guidelines suggest limiting screen time for babies and toddlers, we believe that the use of smartphones and tablets with young children has become quite common,” said Dr Catherine Birken, the study’s principal investigator, in a news release. “This is the first study to report an association between handheld screen time and increased risk of expressive language delay.”

Nearly 900 children ages six months to two years old participated in the study. Parents were asked to report their child’s average screen time and then researchers assessed each little volunteer’s language development using the Infant Toddler Checklist (ITC), a validated questionnaire for detecting expressive speech delay and other communication issues. They found that for each 30 minutes of screen time, 49 per cent of kids had an increased risk of expressive speech delay. As for their screen time behaviours, by their 18-month check-ups, 20 per cent of the children used some sort of handheld device for an average of 28 minutes.

Study authors said that the results support a recent policy recommendation by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) to discourage any type of screen time in children younger than 18 months, but more research is needed to understand the particular type of screen activities that may lead to a speech delay in young children.

According to the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, early childhood exposure to digital devices is associated with cognitive and language delays and may have a negative effect on social, emotional and physical development.

If you start incorporating limited screen time into your toddler’s routine once they pass the 18-month mark, the AAP recommends choosing programming that is educational. Also, it’s worth noting that science gives the OK to Facetiming with grandma.

Source: RD.com



Advertisement
Over 60 Percent of People Can’t Find the Turtle in This Picture. Can You Spot It?
Vegemite returns as Australia's ‘Most Iconic’ brand

Vegemite returns as one of Australia's ‘Most Trusted’ brands

The independently conducted Trusted Brands survey - appearing exclusively in Australian Reader’s Digest - has polled more than 2,400 people, to reveal Australia’s Most Trusted Brands of 2018.
Get inspired by these 6 commencement speeches
8 of the Most Bizarre Historical Coincidences Throughout History

8 of the Most Bizarre Historical Coincidences Throughout History

From the truly bizarre to the serendipitous, these 8 coincidences are so mind bending they could actually be the sign of a higher power.
Can You Spot Fake News?

Can You Spot Fake News?

With so much fake news online, it can sometimes be hard to figure out the truth. But with some countries actually declaring the practice illegal – attracting hefty fines and jail time – we thought you might need a crash course on how to tell what’s fake and what’s not.
Advertisement