A lot of moms that let their toddlers have unlimited access to an iPad, the TV, and even their iPhone. There is a new study out though that says too much time in front of screens can have dire consequences for your toddler, and that’s definitely concerning.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recently estimated that children in America are in front of screens or other electronic media for 7 hours every single day. That’s a pretty scary statistic when you hear about what the optimal time should be to avoid the harmful effects this has on your child.
Experts in America and Canada are saying that children under 18-months of age should not have any access to technology and screen time at all. Children that have access to screen time between the crucial ages of 2 to 3-years-old experienced developmental issues around the ages of 3 and 5-years-old, according to a new study recently published from JAMA Pediatrics.
For children ages 18 to 24-months old, they should only have access to screen time for one hour a day, and it should only be high quality and educational programming that they view for that hour.
The study says that, “Excessive screen time can impinge on children’s ability to develop optimally; it is recommended that pediatricians and health care practitioners guide parents on appropriate amounts of screen exposure and discuss potential consequences of excessive screen use.”
Shockingly enough, toddlers exposed to screen time end up missing out on meeting key milestones in their development, and end up with developmental delays. It makes sense when you think about it; growth is stunted when children spend time in front of screens and little time in the outside world.
Concentration, the ability to pay attention and focus, the ability to develop a good vocabulary, the ability to gauge the attitude and feelings of others and develop social skills: those are some of the things that can suffer terribly in regards to your child’s development.
The good news is this is something you can completely control!
There are so many different activities you can do with your child in order to avoid screen time, such as playing with toys, coloring, playing outside, kicking a ball, riding a bike, going to the playground, going to the library, reading a book….the opportunities to occupy your child in a meaningful way are endless!