Child holding an iPad
Increased Screen Time: Implications for Early Childhood Development and Behavior (click to see research article)

by Jenny S. Radesky (University of Michigan Medical School) & Dimitri A. Christakis (The Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s)


  • Mobile and interactive media have revolutionized digital play for young children, through changes in access to platforms, new content, and differences in the ways parents mediate this play.
  • Well-designed TV programs and interactive media can be educational starting in preschool; but children younger than 2 years require adult interaction to learn from screen media.
  • Interactive media have the potential to be highly engaging for children, but digital features can also distract from the learning objectives.
  • Several health and developmental risks of excessive or inappropriate (e.g., violent, adult oriented) media exposure continue to exist, primarily in areas of sleep, obesity, child development, executive functioning, and aggression.
  • Pediatric providers can be a resource for parents in terms of translating these research findings and applying them to family’s decision-making, offering suggestions for digital tools or resources, teaching parents how to mediate their child’s screen time, and supporting positive parenting and play.

Click to view the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for children’s media use!