Screen Time Delays Your Child’s Development


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Mobile devices are everywhere – and even babies seem to enjoy the technology. But a new study shows too much screen time could negatively affect a little one’s development.

Phones and tablets may seem like a convenient way to keep babies engaged. But new research suggests time in front of a screen may harm their development.

In a large study of more than seven thousand children, researchers found one to four hours of screen time per day at age one was linked to delays in communication, fine motor skills, problem solving, and personal and social skills at age two.

Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, PhD, Developmental Psychologist says, “Language is really the foundation for so much.”

Experts say time in front of the screen takes away from real-life interactions where babies learn how to communicate.

Tamis-LeMonda says, “When children are playing, they’re hearing lots of verbs like push, pull, pick up. The thing is that children are hearing those words as they’re acting on those objects.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies younger than 18 months get no screen time – with the exception of video chatting. By ages two to three, kids should only get up to an hour a day of educational programming. To encourage language and social development, turn off devices when they aren’t in use. And make sure you set a good example by limiting your screen time. Talk to your child often – especially while you are performing tasks. Try to use descriptive words, such as “blue truck,” instead of pronouns, like “it.”

“It’s not that complicated. You don’t have to get fancy books all the time or fancy toys.” Explains Tamis-LeMonda.

With ways to help your child avoid unhealthy screen habits.

In the new study, mothers of children with high levels of screen time were more likely to be first-time moms, have a lower household income, be younger, have a lower education level, and have postpartum depression.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.