As soon as smartphones were created, tablets and apps that were targetted towards children, of course, were quick to follow. In the beginning, these were pretty much a dream for busy parents because most of them were educational. Because of that, we didn't feel quite as bad when we handed the tablet over so they could watch Youtube videos of kids unboxing toys so we could get some laundry done. But as time went by, parents and doctors started to rise in concern over the time spent on these electronic devices and if it was actually good or bad for our kiddos.
Well according to new evidence, we should stop worrying at all. Feeling relief? You should because new research is telling parents to worry less about how much screen time your children are having...except for one crucial point in the day.
A review has been published in the BMJ Open medical journal, following the current debate about whether kids should have time on devices restricted or not. While the research did focus mostly on television screen time, it also looked into the use of tablets and smartphones, too.
The verdict is that there is very little evidence that screen time can be harmful to a child and that parents should start worrying less about this. The guidance within this research even goes as far to advise against setting screen time limits. However, they do recommend against using any type of advice during the hour before bedtime. In addition, as long as the use of devices are not replacing things like sleep, family time, and exercising, they should be okay to use, too, experts say.
But of course, there are some key messages to call out that it really is important for parents to take note of. While the research shows that screen time isn't toxic for little minds, there was evidence found associations between higher screen use and obesity and depression. However, the college that looked into this, experts at University College London, including RCPCH president Prof Russell Viner, said it was not clear from the evidence they found if higher screen use was causing these issues or if people with these issues were more likely to spend more time on screens.
Moral of the story really is to pay attention to the cues that you are getting from your children and don't stress about handing them a tablet whenever you need to get something done. After all, you're human mama!