Do you know the effects of technology on your child’s brain?
During the month of October, our blog posts are focusing on the Intentional use of Technology within our families. There is no question that technology is here to stay and has become an integral part of our daily lives. The beauty of being the parents in the family is that we have an opportunity to consider the facts and decide how/when and how often individuals in our families can/will use technology.
Today we are sharing with you a very minimal amount of research coming from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about the effects of technology on kids’ brains, bodies and development. This information can feel overwhelming and what is critical is that we are making informed decisions about media use in our family.
A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation survey of more than 2000 8- to 18-year-olds revealed that children and teenagers in the United States spend an average of more than 7 hours/day with a variety of different media.
The latest national report revealed that on a typical day, nearly two-thirds of children and infants younger than 2 years are watching TV for an hour and a half.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:
Pediatricians should continue to urge parents to avoid TV- and video-viewing for children younger than 2 years. Increasing amounts of research have shown that infants and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other regular caregivers for healthy brain growth.
The results of 7 studies have shown that infants younger than 18 months who are exposed to TV may suffer from a delay in language development, and 1 study revealed that infant videos may delay language development.
No studies have documented a benefit of early viewing.
Finally, Mario Cruz, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children wrote:
“Every hour of time spent in front of an electronic device is a wasted opportunity. This time could have been better spent exercising, socializing with friends, reading, getting ahead on schoolwork, or spending time with parents or siblings. In fact, children who watch TV excessively are more likely to have problems with obesity, drug use, unsafe sex, aggressive behavior, school problems, and attention deficit disorder. I wish I were exaggerating, but these facts are well-supported by research.”
We encourage you to make decisions that are right for your family.