Print Edition - 2019-01-31  |  Health and Living

Screen time ‘may harm toddlers’

  • ALL ABOUT SCREEN

Jan 31, 2019-

Letting a toddler spend lots of time using screens may delay their development of skills such as language and sociability, according to a large Canadian study.

The research, which tracked nearly 2,500 two-year-olds, is the latest piece of evidence in the debate about how much screen time is safe for kids. In Canada and the US, experts say children should not use screens before they are at least 18 months old. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says there is not enough evidence, even when you include this new study, for a “direct toxic effect”.

Mums were surveyed about screen use, and filled out questionnaires about their child’s skills and development at ages two, three and five. Screen time included watching TV programmes, films or videos, gaming, and using a computer, tablet, phone or any other screen-based device. At the age of two, the children were clocking up around 17 hours of screen time per week.This increased to around 25 hours a week by the age of three but dropped to around 11 hours a week at the age of five.

Published: 31-01-2019 10:42

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