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Can screentime really affect my child? Part 1

Posted: February 12, 2024
By: Dr. Rubin & Mariah Wenglewski

One of the most common conversations right now in parenthood is screen time. It seems that there is a screen everywhere we turn, even if it is not our own screen! We make so many connections on a phone as adults in respect to work emails, coordinating schedules, and simply staying in touch with others. But are we thinking about what consequences a screen has on the child’s developing brain?

Certain learning applications on devices can help improve education and learning opportunities when in small moderation. However, does the cost outweigh the risk? Such risks associated with screentime can include increasing the probability of obesity, sleep disturbances, and psychological issues such as depression and anxiety.  A cohort study performed by The Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development found that early screen exposure showed an outcome of lowered academic performances. Cognitive disruptions due to early introduction to screen time can also be linked to a poorer attention span and focus abilities that correlate with lesser academic outcomes.

Language development relies heavily on interactions between children and adults. It has been realized that less adult and children’s interactions are occurring due to the interruption of screentime and smart devices. This directly affects language abilities when there is no communication taking place.

Enriching activities can be a positive option for a child in place of screentime. Monitoring screen games and media as well as time spent on a screen can help benefit the child’s cognitive development. This begins with pediatric chiropractors advising and encouraging parental awareness and help them make informed decisions as the world of screens and devices continuing to soar.  

In a future blogpost, we will address other pediatric issues associated with screens, including tech neck!


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