Health Experts Revise Screen Times For Children

April 30, 2019

© Dmitriy Melnikov | Dreamstime

It's a fact of life that we're viewing electronic screens more than ever and there's a good chance we'll see more as time goes on. It's a growing concern for health professionals in particular how much time our kids are staring into video screens. A comprehensive study of 4,500 children conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2018 shows that children who spent more than seven hours a day staring at screens showed evidence of premature thinning of their brain's cortex — the outer layer that processes sensory information.  Another study found that the more time children under age 2 spend on handheld screens, the more likely they are to have speech delays. Not to mention that 80% of adolescents (and 23% of adults) don't get enough physical activity, with much of that physical inactivity attributed viewing video screens. It has led the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to recommend that children 18 months and under should not be exposed to video screens at all. The World Health Organization recommends zero screen time for infants up to 1 year old, and no more than one hour for 2-year-olds, noting "less is better." For children ages 2 to 5, the AAP recommends limiting screen time to one hour a day of "high-quality programs," and the organization says parents should co-watch with this age group, too. And for kids older than 6, the AAP encourages parents to place "consistent limits" on the time spent using media and make sure screen time doesn't take the place of physical activity or sleep.

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SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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