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.