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Friday October 19, 2018

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Too Much Screen Time Linked To Drop In Kids' Brain Functioning.

Today’s children have grown up with a vast array of electronic devices at their fingertips. They can't imagine a world without smartphones, tablets, and the internet. 

The dangers of excessive screen time that we hear about most often relate to happiness, relationships and self-worth; it's rare to consider the physical dangers associated with our digital devices. But it's all too easy to fall into bad habits when using technology, whether it's crouching over your phone on the subway or staring at the screen for longer periods than you should. Only one in 20 kids in the United States meets the guidelines on sleep, exercise and screen time, and nearly a third are outside recommendations for all three, according to a Canadian study .

On average, children aged eight to 11 spent 3.6 hours per day glued to a TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer screen, nearly double the suggested limit of two hours, researchers found. Too little sleep and excess screen time were clearly linked to a drop off in cognitive skills, such as language ability, memory, and task completion, they reported in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Elementary school-age children who watch TV or use a computer more than two hours per day are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention problems. Excessive TV viewing has even been linked to increased bullying behavior.

Here are a few household rules you might want to establish to curb screen time: 

No digital devices during family meals.

No screen time in the car.

No screens allowed in bedrooms.

No electronics use during family fun nights.

In addition, consider an occasional digital detox for the whole family. Create a screen-free night once a week or commit to unplugging one weekend a month. It could be good for everyone's physical and emotional health, as well your family's relationships. As with all the other toys and tools available to your developing child, smartphone use should stay in moderation, and never stand in for human interaction or real-world face time.

 

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