It is no secret that most parents happily hand over their gadgets to children to let them play games and watch cartoons. They also do not put in an effort to reduce the time that children spend in front of the television. However, excess screen time doesn’t do any good for kids.
In fact, it can damage not only their eyesight but their mental health as well. It has been previously established that too much use of gadgets hampers children’s creativity. Now a new research shows more negative impacts that excess screen time has on the mental skills of children.
This new study which has been published in the journal of American Medical Association dives into two important matters; how much children’s screen time has increased and how this rise in their screen time can negatively influence their cognitive functioning.
The study was carried out with the purpose of observing the age at which children’s exposure to screens starts and what this exposure means for their mental health. Along with the use of gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, watching television was also accounted for screen time exposure.
For research purposes a sample size of 2500 was analyzed, and mothers were questioned as well. The study showed the following results regarding the increase of screen exposure among children between the ages of 2 to 5:
- Children between the ages of 2 to 5 are experiencing 17 hours of screen time exposure on average
- Children aged 3 years are experiencing 25 hours of screen time
- The number of hours spent in front of the screen reduce slightly at the age of 5
Moreover, the research also found out the impacts that this excess screen time exposure has on the cognitive abilities of children. Following conclusions were reached:
- Children who spent too much time in front of the screen struggled in academics
- They had trouble learning, getting mathematical concepts and revisiting what they had previously learned
- These negative impacts of screen time exposure last in the long-run as well
In light of this, scientists recommend that the screen time of children must be limited as much as possible. Previously, children were exposed to about 7 to 8 hours of screen time, however, screen time has increased recently. It is recommended that the maximum screen time of children should be 6 hours a week and not more than that.