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Less Screen Time Is Important For A Child’s Healthy Development, Confirms New Study

You may have heard about how increased screen time can have adverse effects on young minds. And now, we’ve got a new study that’s proving just that.

Keeping children as young as toddlers away from iPads would motivate them to move around and get some fresh air. And in the long run, that’s designed to assist their minds.

Moreover, this new study says it’s essential in terms of developing a child’s executive functions such as their attention span, a shift that arises between tasks, and the ability to make the best decisions.

In the same way, this particular study proved that kids at the age of two that spent less than 60 minutes on electronic gadgets and preferred exercise over anything else had the best cognitive skills.

The study comes to us thanks to research experts at the University of Illinois Urbana.

Executive function underlies the ability to take part in behaviors that are goal-directed. From inhibitory control that enables you to regulate thoughts to those linked to working memory, feelings, and behavior, the list is plenty.

These emotions are also related to holding data in the mind for a while to complete a task. Other than that, the research says it can affect cognitive flexibility and adeptness to switch attention from one task to another.

It’s interesting to note how such findings are linked to both diet and exercise recommendations from the American Academy for Pediatrics. Moreover, such guidelines are instructed to keep kids away from electronic devices and only allow for screen times of less than an hour.

Other than that, it promotes exercise and includes around 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. They are then told to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. According to research, children that stuck to such guidelines of the AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics) displayed better executive functions in young kids. The research experts were trying to figure out when such a relationship starts and at which point in time during a toddler’s age it begins.

In this particular study, around 356 toddlers took part and they happened to be included in a group called ‘strong kids 2.’ And that, in particular, searched for the factors affecting the child’s diet and their weight from 0 to 5 years of age. This includes when the kids were around two.

Parents were seen filling out a survey regarding their child’s behavior and the average time they take to stare at a screen. This includes how active they are and the types of food they’re consuming. In the same way, it’s related to how many sweetened drinks they consume.

We also saw the survey asking a range of questions in terms of their toddlers’ development and behavior. Some of the queries were related to the child’s planning process, their memory, their attention span, and their responses recorded emotionally.

There was an inverse relationship seen between the various executive functions discussed above and the number of hours spent viewing screens.

Those with less than an hour of screen time had better development and could control their cognition better than any of those that spent days staring at cellphones and the television. One graduate from the University of Illinois noticed how they had better inhibitory control and greater memory.

Those toddlers with daily forms of physical exercise were seen doing better on their tests that needed great memory when compared to those that didn’t. So as you can see, the authors concluded how healthy behavior in the form of less screen time and more exercise can really be great for children.


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