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Experts share exact amount of screen time that could ‘damage’ your child

Experts share exact amount of screen time that could ‘damage’ your child

Children can face developmental issues as they get older from screen time

iPads, phones and TV have all found their place in modern day parenting, and even though there are warnings on screen time, sometimes needs must.

There’s often warnings over the damage a screen can do to a little one, but experts in Japan have revealed exactly how much screen time is too much.

Too much screen time could have long-lasting effects.

Currently in the UK, neither the NHS nor the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have any detailed guidance for screen time among babies and toddlers.

Whilst the general advice is two hours or less per day, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) website highlights the advice from the UK’s Chief Medical Officer who advises parents to take a ‘precautionary approach’, but balance this with the potential benefits of using screen devices e.g. for learning, coordination skills.etc.

The study of 7,097 children was carried out by Tohoku University in Japan and looked at the effects of screen time on one to four year olds.

It turns out that tots around the age of one are more likely to be negatively affected by too much screen time, and by too much - as the studied revealed - they mean four hours a day.

Tots at this age were more susceptible to developmental issues when they got older, according to the study.

However, they also discovered that these little ones were able to catch up to their peers - in terms of social, personal and communication skills - once they reached age four.

Study author Dr Taku Obara explained: “Greater screen time at age one year was associated with developmental delays in communication and problem-solving at ages two and four years.”

It's easy to use screen to keep kids entertained.

With that being said, there are ways to make screen time for your children more of a positive experience, without damaging their growth. Interacting with them whilst they use a device, rather than plonking them in front of it and leaving them to it, is good for bonding as well as keeping track of how much time they use it.

Some educational apps and TV programmes can help to encourage a child's confidence, their creativity, their language as well as their focus and concentration.

And whilst most of us parents would be turning to screen time to give ourselves five minutes of peace, the NCT website recognises this too and encourages it if used positively.

So there you have it, no need to feel guilty about little ones having the tablet or phone now you know what to look out for.

Featured Image Credit: Daniela Jovanovska-Hristovska/Getty/Pexels

Topics: Hacks, News, Parenting, Technology, Science