Does less screen time equal smarter kids?

Author: Ivanhoe Newswire
Photo: Ivanhoe Newswire

Nearly 98 percent of kids in the U.S. live in a home with at least one mobile device. Nearly 60 percent of children ages five to eight have their own tablet. While it’s becoming harder to limit screen time, a new study shows parents who do set restrictions on recreational use of their devices may have kids who perform better on tests.

Kids today are consumed by screens! But a new study suggests the less time spent in front of a screen, the better. Researchers looked at 4,500 kids between ages 8 and 11. They found those who used their smartphones and other devices for less than two hours a day performed better on cognitive tests assessing their thinking, language, and memory skills.

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement guidelines recommend that children between ages 5 and 17 get at least one hour of physical activity, have no more than two hours of recreational screen time, and get nine to 11 hours of sleep each day. The researchers found only five percent of the kids studied met all three of these recommendations. Sixty-three percent of the children spent more than two hours in front of screens.

While it may not be the norm, setting restrictions on screen time could benefit your child in the long-run.

Apple recently released a new advanced parental control system to help monitor kids’ screen time and Google now has features to limit screen time and monitor use on android devices.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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