Excessive Screen Time Is Harmful For Children
Mon, October 25, 2021

Excessive Screen Time Is Harmful For Children

There are a lot of articles written and studies made about how screen time affects children / Photo by: Andrew Seaman via Flickr

 

There are a lot of articles written and studies made about how screen time affects children. They are unanimous in saying that allowing an excessive amount of time spent in front of their gadgets can have a negative effect on kids. On the other hand, there are those that claim that screen time doesn’t affect the kid’s overall development process at all. 

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics explained that there are types of screen-based technology that actually have the strongest effect on the child’s learning capability. In an article published by Time Magazine, a weekly digest for political news coverage, it was reported that maybe, early researchers were barking up the wrong tree. 

And then there were articles also noted that some people believe that allowing children to explore technology as it is could be beneficial for them in the future because it can further their knowledge. 

 

A Study of Conflicting Findings

Mireia Adelantado-Renau from the University Jaume I in Castellon, Spain and her team of international researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing research on the topic, reported MinnPost, a nonprofit, nonpartisan enterprise whose mission is to provide high-quality journalism.

Using 5,999 studies from 23 countries, the researchers managed to put the spotlight on the time spent on video games and television in order to resolve the conflicting findings of screen time on children. 

Children love the idea of playing their favorite video games using their own gadgets. Popular internet games also allow children to play with their peers even while they’re at the confines of their houses. 

The researchers found out that the time spent on video games and television viewing was linked with poorer academic achievement. It was also mentioned that children who play video games regularly suffer from lower verbal memory and restorative slow-wave sleep.

 

TV Viewing

CNN, a world leader in online news and information and seeks to inform, engage, and empower the world, also reported in their digital platform that watching more content on television showed a significant impact on the child’s language and math abilities. 

This conclusion was backed by prior studies that noted how excessive TV viewing decreases the ability of the children to focus and think clearly, while it increases poor eating habits and behavioral problems. 

“Previous research has suggested that television viewing replaces other activities such as physical activity, verbal interaction, studying, or sleeping… and reduces mental effort, which might affect their performance,” the researchers wrote. It was also noted that an excessive amount of viewing time in children is also linked to reduced attention and cognitive functioning. 

CNN reported in their digital platform that watching more content on television showed a significant impact on the child’s language and math abilities / Photo by: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

 

Screen Time for Younger Kids

It is impossible to completely ban electronic gadgets in the house. Children might need them for academics and socializing since most of their connections require using the internet. This is why it is encouraged that parents must set flexible guidelines when it comes to their children’s screen time. 

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a screen time guideline that parents can use for their children. 

- Babies and toddlers

Babies shouldn’t be holding a gadget if they’re still under 18 months of age. However, it is still okay for their parents and caregivers to take advantage of the technology at hand to interact with their babies while they are away through video chats. Children at this age must interact with the people around them as well as with their environment in real-time instead of having a gadget in front of them as a replacement for a babysitter. 

Studies show that having the TV on in the same room with a baby or a toddler might have a negative effect on their capability to play and interact. As they turn two years old, the child can learn words from a person using video chat. 

- Preschoolers

When the child starts going to preschool, parents can now introduce them to television. Children from ages 3 to 5 can reap the benefits of watching educational shows like “Sesame Street.” It is important to keep in mind that the show must have features that will help children improve their cognitive abilities, language skills, and social skills. 

The AAP still warns parents to be careful in allowing their children to explore the vast world of the internet to look for educational apps or content. The organization said that many educational apps on the market were not created with the supervision of developmental specialists. These apps and content can cause harm to children. “More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational but little research has demonstrated their actual quality,” the AAP said. 

Because parents cannot prevent their children from using technology altogether, they must be vigilant about how their kids spend their time in front of their gadget. Parents must also teach their kids to balance things properly and that everything should be in moderation.

It is impossible to completely ban electronic gadgets in the house. Children might need them for academics and socializing since most of their connections require using the internet / Photo by: Henry Burrows via Flickr