The Impact Of Screen Time On Child Development + 3 Tips

According to Common Sense Media, over half of all children under 8 have their own tablet devices and spend an average of 2.25 hours each day in front of digital displays. This is just one of the statistics that prove the harmful effects of digital devices on children today. 

What effect does screen time have on children’s brains?

Healthmatter states that children who engaged for more than two hours daily on screen-time activities scored worse on linguistic and thinking tests, and even some children who spent more than seven hours a day on screen time reported shrinking of the brain’s cortex, which is associated with crucial reasoning and thinking.

Moreover, Dr. Jennifer F. Cross, an attending pediatrician and developmental and behavioral pediatrics expert at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, hypothesizes that screens may inhibit certain aspects of a child’s development by narrowing their focus of interest and restricting their other means of exploration and learning. He says that if young children spend most of their time engaging with an iPad, smartphone, or television, which are all highly recreational, it can be difficult to engage them in offline exercises, such as playing with toys to nurture creativity and imagination, uncovering the outdoors, and enjoying with other children to develop appropriate interpersonal skills. 

In addition, about one-fourth of school-aged children suffer from developmental delays/deficits, such as trouble communicating, language problems, decreased motor abilities, and emotional deficits, according to scientific research. Considered one of the most significant risk factors that might possibly impede children’s early development is again, excessive screen usage.

How does this affect their daily life? 

Such developmental delays may have a substantial influence on the learning process and hinder a child’s academic progress. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 2- to 5-year-daily old’s screen use should be limited to less than one hour. Similarly, it is advisable to limit a child’s screen usage if they are less than 18 months.

However, in the United States, almost all children aged 0 to 8 spend more than two hours every day in front of a screen.

A recent research by the National Institutes of Health revealed that youngsters who spend around two hours each day in front of a screen have diminished cognitive and linguistic abilities. In addition, the part of the brain (cortex) responsible for logic and critical reasoning grows smaller in youngsters who spend more than seven hours each day in front of a screen.

Similarly, a second research including 2,441 children aged 2 to 5 years indicated that excessive screen usage among children aged 2 to 3 is associated with poor performance on developmental screening tests.

How can you divert your children away from screens? 

This above research also discovered that access to screens and cognitive excellence are influenced by a variety of characteristics, including family income, the parents’ mental health, the child’s sleep schedule, the child’s gender, the child’s engagement towards books, and the child’s degree of physical activity.

Despite the fact that you may believe there is nothing greater than smart devices and the fun they bring, this isn’t the truth. Dr. Tomas Gilovi, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, reportedly asked his children to recall their best memories. They did not highlight toys and other possessions, but rather family memories and experiences. In this instance, he demonstrated that kids value experiences above material possessions.

The value and irreplaceability of park visits, walks, field trips, and time spent in nature cannot be overstated. Dr. Ranko Rajovi, founder of MENSA Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and designer of the NTC curriculum, makes this fact clear. He says that the brain grows via movement and that children must spend time playing in nature, just like we did when we were young. Jumping, rotating, playing with marbles, and jump rope are all beneficial to the formation of synapses. He suggests limiting the amount of time youngsters spend on smart gadgets. According to him, children under the age of seven should spend no more than one hour and no more than two hours watching television and thirty minutes to one hour using a computer, respectively.

For this screen time to be acceptable, they must spend double the amount of time in nature. After a wide range of activities and a busy day, children will have a better appetite and will be easier to put to bed.

What if my child cannot play outside at certain times? 

Given that there are times when children cannot play outside, there are ways to keep them entertained at home. With these activities, you will divert children’s attention from their electronic gadgets, kids will be delighted that other family and friends are playing with them, and you will temporarily relive your youth.

Instead, make your child’s screen time healthier

A lot of times, there’s no escape from digital devices. You can reduce the time your children play on the screen, but it has become harder with time to stop this from happening completely. A better alternative to this problem, is to make the screen time they have healthier instead. 

With SuzyApp, there are now additional ways to make your child’s screen time healthier by developing their prefrontal cortex despite their use of electronic gadgets. 

SuzyApp lets you control your children’s access to their favorite apps by allowing the sequencing of apps that you can decide on. By taking these 3 easy steps, you can make sure your child is using screens in a healthy way in just 5 minutes: 

  1. SuzyApp lets you help your kids get better at paying attention by giving them age-appropriate educational activities and prohibits their access to entertainment that is known to cause attention problems. SuzyApp tries to reach its goals through a philosophy of reinforcement. This is why it’s important to reach the tipping point for educational apps before moving on to adequate apps for fun.
  2. Your child will benefit from either of the two choices you’ve given him: no screen time at all or a moderate amount of screen time (in terms of both content and length). On SuzyApp, your child’s profile will show how that child likes to use the app. You can keep an eye on your kids’ screen time at any time with this information.
  3. SuzyApp lets you limit the bad effects of screen time on your child by teaching them to wait for what they want by putting together fun and educational apps in a certain order. This helps them learn to be patient and have self-control. See this post to learn more about why it’s so important for your child to learn to wait for what they want.

Install SuzyApp now to make your child’s screen time much healthier for their mental, and physical well-being.