It is the era of technological advancement. There are different gadgets available in the market that can perform all the needed functions. Children, in particular, are now found to make excessive use of these gadgets. More importantly, it is now seen that parents will not even stop their children from using all these technological instrumental.
We all are aware of the traditional harm that is caused: weak eye sights. Excessive screen time can seriously affect your vision.
However, according to new research studies, there is a long list of other harmful effects that need to be accounted for. It can hamper children’s development skills like language and socializing abilities.
So, it is now high time as a parent that you stop your kid from spending too much time on mobile phones, tablets or play stations!
What the research study found?
The research study was primarily focused upon children ageing from 2 years to 5 years old. A sample size of about 2500 was collected and analyzed. There were two main components of the findings:
- What is the ideal age for children to be exposed to any type of screen time?
- What are the effects of excessive usage?
The scientists were particularly interested in evaluating the role of gadgets and technology on the cognitive development of children.
For the purpose of the research, screen time was taken to be anything from watching television to video games. To elaborate on the growth factor, mothers of the children were interviewed to have a better illustration.
It was revealed that on average, children of about 2 to 5 years old would be exposed to 17 hours of screen time in a week. This is about roughly 2.5 hours every day. More importantly, the previous data revealed the screen time to be just 7-8 hours in a week.
The exposure increased to 25 hours weekly at the age of three and dropped meagerly at the age of 5. That was the age when children started primary schooling. Even despite enrolling in schools, parents did not hesitate to stop their children from excessive usage.
The findings also explained the poor performance of kids when they started their academic life. Majority of them struggled with their learning ability. They had difficulty grasping crucial mathematics concepts. Particularly when it came to rehearsing what they had previously learned, children performed poorly.
Researchers believe that this delay in cognitive development can seriously hamper children’s academic skills in later life too.
The results were documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
What parents should be doing?
Coming back to the first component of the research: what is the ideal screen time?
Well, scientists have pondered over this question for too long. They feel that for toddlers the time limit should not exceed more than 6 hours weekly. Which is roughly 45 minutes every day. This limit was given considering the wide availability of technological gadgets.
It is understandable that parents may find it difficult to control their children. However, for the child’s own betterment and better learning ability, they have to take the step no matter what. Instead, the focus should be on making them play more outdoor which has far more health benefits.