NewsLocal News


Health News 2 Use: Screen time affects kids' brain development

Experts recommend one hour a day for pre-schoolers
Posted at 7:35 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 20:37:14-05

Shannon Visentin is a pediatric occupational therapist who has strong opinions about screen time and young kids.

"I'm feeling lately that a lot of kids cannot problem solve," Visentin said. "They come in, they cannot build a fort."

The term screen time has become a double-edged sword. Experts believe it's a part of life, but it's also changing life.

"Seeing these babies, these toddlers on phones at parks and restaurants, it's starting to bother me a lot more, because they are not getting the language and interaction with friends and family," Visentin said. "They're not multi-sensory learning."

A new study took a look at the brains of 3 to 5-year-old children who used screens more than the recommended one hour a day.

The findings determined it affected brain development, language, literacy, and cognitive skills.

Buffy Pagano has twin 4-year-old's and she says you have to allow yourself the convenience of screen time to a certain degree.

"You have to also teach your kid, when you have your iPad and somebody walks into the room, you put your iPad down and go over and address them and say hello. You still have to be a parent," Pagano said.

Visentin warns that parents should limit their screen time around their children as well.

"Sometimes you will see more behaviors coming out, because the negative behaviors are getting their parent's attention away from that device, that cell phone," Visentin explains.

When it comes to older kids, ages 8 to 18, research found they spend an average of seven hours a day looking at screens.

New guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend parents limit screen time to just two hours per day.

Bottom line, parents need to be the ones to step in to set limits.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook