Too Much Screen Time as an Infant Could Impact Learning and Social Skills Later in Life

According to a new Harvard study allowing infants to watch tablets and TV could impair their emotional well-being and academic achievement once they reach age nine.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has more on why too much screen time for youngsters may be a bad thing.

Dr. David Holcombe with the Office of Public Health said, “For young children evidence is beginning to accumulate that excessive screen time actually decreases their socialization skills so their ability to interact with other children and even adults.”

Holcombe weighs in on a Harvard study that says too much screen time for youngsters could impact learning and social skills later in life.

“So some of the recommendations are don’t have cell phones and other screens at the dinner table because that’s where children learn to socialize at least with adults.  And then parents need to be the role models and if parents have their noses stuck in a screen all the time this is a poor role model for their children.”

Holcombe says youngsters using cell phones and tablets some of the time is not a bad thing.

“Well it’s not all doom and gloom because apparently screen time does increase some kinds of social bonding and teaches technological skills and can be educational but they say that too much is too much.”

At issue is how screen time can affect a child’s so called executive functioning skills which are cognitive skills that have to do with organization and planning, important to learning, social skills and regulating emotions.

“Technology always is a double-edged sword so there are some benefits that come with it but it’s clear that this is a whole lifestyle.  That the use and dependance on screen time can be addictive and any kind of addiction, any kind of excess is not desirable.”

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