Sunday, October 2, 2022

Christian news in Birmingham. AL

‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest...

Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly entertainment choices...

Max McLean re-tells C.S....

You may not know Max McLean’s face, but you may know his rich,...

Jeremy Camp doesn’t write...

For 20 years, Jeremy Camp’s life has been one of touring and writing...

Minno is the new...

I deleted Disney Plus from my television the other day -- much to...
HomeLifestyleHealthScreen Time Safety for...

Screen Time Safety for Children: The Latest Research

Children who spend more than two hours per day looking at an electronic screen demonstrate decreased memory, diminished language skills, and shortened attention spans. This was the conclusion of some recent landmark research published by Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. The observational study involved 4,520 children between the ages of eight and eleven years. Parents were asked to track three things about their children and then the children were asked to complete a variety of cognitive (brain) tasks.

The three things the parents tracked were: 

  • the amount of time their child spent each day looking at a screen (smart phone, tablet, television, or computer)
  • the number of minutes per day their child spent in physical activity
  • the number of hours of sleep their child had

The study revealed when a child spent more than two hours a day looking at a screen, he or she demonstrated a decrease in working memory and executive processing speeds, decreased attention spans, and lowered language and executive function skills. Working memory is the type of memory we use to recall information we store for a short amount of time, such as instructions given to complete a task or a shopping list.  Executive functioning includes things such as, paying attention, organizing and planning, initiating tasks and remaining focused on them, regulating emotions, and self-monitoring.

The findings published by Lancet bolstered the current recommendations on media usage established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP’s recommendations include:

  • Avoiding digital media (other than video chatting) for children younger than 18 to 24 months of age
  • Limiting screen time for children  2 to 5 years of age to one hour a day of high-quality programming, such as Sesame Street
  • All learning apps are not the same. Do your research on learning apps by using organizations such as www.commonsensemedia.org

While the study provided important information, it did not come to a definitive conclusion on why more than two hours of screen time diminished cognitive (brain) function. But, the researchers offered some possible reasons and encouraged more research in these areas. The possible reasons given were:

  • The effect of blue light on the brain
  • Too much screen time interfering with adequate sleep
  • Hours spent looking at a screen limits physical activity
  • Excessive screen time replaces time spent on more cognitively challenging activities

Blue light is the common waveform of light present in electronic screens. It has been demonstrated in Harvard research to interfere with the body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical which promotes sleep. Exposure to blue light during the evenings has also been shown to increase a person’s risk for obesity and diabetes. To improve sleep, the Harvard researchers recommended avoiding looking at electronic screens two to three hours before bedtime. 

While the Lancet research is important, it raises many concerns and questions for parents. A few minutes on the smart phone while in the checkout line and a TV show or two before bed can quickly add up to a total of two hours/day. We know screens are a part of our lives, whether at home, school, or in the workplace. But, this research demonstrates, electronics don’t come without risks. There is now clear evidence too much screen time is harmful to the developing brain of a child. 

More resources:
Media Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Create a Family Media Plan
Apps to help you limit screen time
Social Media and Depression: What Parents Can Do

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Christianity in Decline in the US, Christians React

On the study about the future of Christianity in the US, Christian professionals advised fellow believers to be creative in protecting the majority status they enjoy now.

Franklin Graham Preaches to Over 17,000 in Mongolia

Evangelist Franklin Graham shared a message of hope to more than 17,000 people in Mongolia on September 10 and 11.

King Charles Vows to Protect All Faiths

King Charles III met with 30 faith leaders in Buckingham Palace on September 16 and vowed to protect the multiple faiths in Britain.

Only a Minority of Pastors Favor 10% Tithe—Barna

In its latest study, Barna Group found that tithing is not widely understood or practiced in today's church.

Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at Balmoral Castle on September 8, 2022 at aged 96. The Queen was the longest-serving English monarch, having ascended to the throne in 1952. During her reign, she has witnessed an immense social change in the UK--- the transition from empire to...

Pastor Rick Warren Says Final Sermon at Saddleback

Pastor Rick Warren delivered his final sermon at Saddleback Church on August 28, 2022 with a message going back to the theme of his first sermon 43 years ago.

Israel Invites US Christians to Biblical Archaeological Tours

Israel launched a tourism plan to attract U.S. Christians in a biblical archaeological excavation across the country.

Kel Mitchell Reads ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in Prayer App

Former Nickelodeon star turned youth pastor Kel Mitchell has joined Pray.com, a prayer and faith-based app, as a voice talent for its Bedtime Bible Stories.

Behold Europe 2022 to Train Young Evangelists

Behold Europe, a gathering of young evangelists in Europe, will be held in Hintersee, Germany from November 11-14, 2022.

Free Education at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary

The Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary announced they will provide education to students for free during the war.

New App Connects Americans to Persecuted Christians

Christian persecution watchdog, Open Doors USA, developed an app that lets users to pray for believers who are suffering for their faith.

Christianity Endures in Afghanistan Despite Taliban Rule

Christianity appears to be growing in Afghanistan despite the Taliban takeover for a year now.