000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550   000-080   1Z0-051   300-208   350-029   102-400   1z0-434   220-801   70-347   1Z0-804   210-260   640-911   300-135   NSE4   EX200   070-461   70-534   700-501   9L0-012   MB6-703   400-101   70-480   M70-101   SY0-401   PMP   1Z0-061   9A0-385   642-732   000-017   9L0-066   JN0-102   1Z0-061   70-411   1V0-601   300-206   400-051   MB2-707   640-692   101   70-346   CISSP   HP0-S42   PR000041   PMP   300-075   200-125  , 300-135   CCA-500   2V0-620   CISM   OG0-093  

Kids Health: Screen Media Use in Children – Greater Pensacola Parents Kids Health: Screen Media Use in Children – Greater Pensacola Parents

Kids Health: Screen Media Use in Children

Growing up, I recall the first video game I ever saw.  It was called Pong, and it was simply two lines on each end of the TV screen and a dot that bounced between them like a ping-pong game.  Back then it was state of the art.  Oh my, how things have changed!

So being part of what I call “one of the first electronics generations,” a sobering thing occurred as my wife and I eventually allowed our young son to watch occasional cartoons or videos when he was around age 3.  As with most parents, we found there were times when it is convenient as a form of entertainment for him, but we tried not to do it often.  Eventually we clearly saw deterioration in his behavior on days he watched anything on a screen. He would argue more, throw more (and more vehement) tantrums, and was more hyper.  It led me to sit down and review the literature out there on the impact of screen media on children and subsequently change our “house rules” about screen time, and I think many parents would benefit from hearing about it, as it may not be something most parents really think of as being a problem.

The primary focus of this article is to help parents be aware of the impacts of screen media on behavior in young children – infants, toddlers, and early school-age kids.  I am not even talking about the *content* of the media, but just the media itself.

Studies have demonstrated better development of language skills in toddlers who played with blocks and simple toys than those engaged in play with electronics, but the issue I see the most is with behavior and attention problems. This is one of the most important effects electronics have on young children, and one I see regularly in my office as well as in my own home (my son is now five).  Screen time impacts behavior and capacity to pay attention via several mechanisms, and leads to sleep disturbances, attention problems, trouble with emotional control, and even addictive behaviors.

Most of our kids’ brain development occurs before age 4 years, and while the full impact of screen media is not yet known, what we do know tells us the news isn’t all good.  A study in Pediatrics in 2004 showed, among other things, that “hours viewed per day at both ages one and three was associated with attentional problems at age seven.”  That means how much TV they watch before age 3 can impact their brains for years to come!  This is probably why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 should not have any screen time at all, and after age 2 the recommendation is to limit it to under 2 hours per day.  Personally, I recommend even less than that, and to avoid it entirely on most days for the younger kids. Our household rule, for example, is that he is not allowed to play video games at all (we just tell him that’s not something he’s old enough for – it’s worked so far), and there is no TV or videos on “school days” (days when he has school the next day), and we limit him to a couple of hours on weekend days.  It has made a difference with his behavior, as it does for most children, and I hope parents will consider this when making decisions about screen time for their young kids.

There is much more to say on the subject for which I don’t have enough space, but I hope this has helped raise awareness about screen media and will help motivate parents to pick and choose carefully how much and how often they let their kids use those screens!