Nearly half of all children, aged eight and under, have their own tablet device and spend an average of about 2.25 hours a day on digital screens. The bad news of this is early data from a landmark National Institutes of Health (NIH) study indicates that children, who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities, scored lower on language and thinking tests. Children with more than seven hours a day of screen time experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex or the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.
Although researchers aren’t quite certain what to make of such data yet, they hypothesize that screens could inhibit certain aspects of a child’s development by narrowing their focus of interests and limiting their other means of exploration and learning. If young children spend most of their time engaging with an iPad, smartphone, or the television – all of which are highly entertaining – it can be difficult to get them engaged in non-electronic activities, such as exploring outdoors, socializing with other children, and playing with toys to foster imagination and creativity.
While a little screen time never hurts anyone, it’s important to know just how much your child should be getting. Read on as Westmount at Summer Cove, a community of pet-friendly apartments in Houston breaks down exactly how much screen time your child should get by age group:
Suggested Screen Time Usage By Age:
• 18 months and younger – Avoid the use of screen media, other than video chatting.
• 18 to 24 months – Parents can begin to introduce digital media with high-quality programming.
• 2 to 5 years – Limit screen time uses to one hour per day of high-quality programs.
• 6 to 12 years – Place consistent limits on screen time – approximately two hours – and make sure it does not interfere with physical activity, adequate sleep, or other behaviors essential to health.
• 12 years and older – Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, like bedrooms. Try to keep screen time to two hours per day, minus time for homework and other school-related online activities.
Expand your mind with new ideas! No matter the topic, Westmount at Summer Cove, which offers 2 bedroom apartments in Houston, is committed to informing you of the information that you want to know.