Modern parents do not mind handing gadgets from smartphones to tablets to their young children. They also do not take measures to stop their kids from staying glued to the television. It’s no secret that too much screen time comes with several negative side effects on the mental skills of children.
That being said, new research which has been published in the American Medical Association journal emphasizes on the need to limit children’s screen time. It tells about the rise in kids’ screen time along with explaining how increased screen time can lower the cognitive abilities of children.
What Does This Study Reveal?
A new study stresses on retrieving screen-based gadgets from children. According to this research, children who are exposed to screens excessively are likely to experience a delay in their growth and development. For the purpose of this study, children aged between the ages of 2 to 5 were targeted. A sample size of roughly 2500 was gathered and studied.
Mothers of children were also interviewed to get a better idea. The in-depth analysis focused on finding out the ages at which children are exposed to screens and what excessive usage of screens does to them. The impacts of gadgets on the cognitive capabilities of children were found to be unfavorable.
It was found that on average, kids were exposed to 17 hours of screen time between the ages of 2 and 5. It was further found that at the mere age of 3, children were exposed to 25 hours of screen time. These hours dropped slightly as the child grew to 5 years of age, however, the use of gadgets was not completely stopped.
The study also found out that excess screen time led children to do poorly in academics. Several of them struggled with learning and grasping mathematical concepts. In particular, they did very poorly when it came to revising what they had memorized. Scientists think that this cognitive damage lasts long-term which is why it is crucial for parents to limit the screen time of their kids.
What Should Kids Do Instead?
Researchers think that children must not be exposed to more than 6 hours of screen time per week. Although it is recommended to lower screen time even more, parents might face challenges in doing so in this modern world. Instead of allowing children to watch television or play games on gadgets, a better idea is to encourage them to play outdoors.
As they grow up, a habit of reading must also be instilled in them. Such habits are way healthier and don’t have any negative impacts on the mental health of children.
A new research stresses on the need for parents to limit their kids’ screen time. This has been recommended as this study has shown how much screen time exposure has increased among children and how it is adversely impacting their cognitive abilities.