The Impact of Heavy Screen Time on Your Child's Brain

boy holding video controller GAME OVER LGScreen time and the appropriate use has been a topic of discussion for years now, but do we truly know what the side effects are regarding screen time. Here at Play Attention, we have also discussed screen time at length because we believe it is an important conversation to have due to the potential impacts it has to cognitive development.

Currently, the National Institute of Health (NIH) is conducting a multi-year study looking specifically at the impacts of heavy screen time in children and the effect that the screen time has on their brains.  An article by Medical Press, Heavy Screen Time Appears to Impact Children’s Brains, looks at a recent interview done between one of the researchers; Gaya Dowling, an NIH doctor, and 60-Minutes.

The study is still in very early stages and is not set to release preliminary findings until early 2019 but in the interview. Dr. Dowling discusses that out of the 4,500 children's brains that have been scanned; findings show that 9 and 10-year olds spending seven or more hours using devices (smart devices and video games) are showing premature thinning of the cortex. The cortex is the outer most layer of the brain that processes sensory information. But what does this mean? Researchers are still working to answer that question.

Additional findings are also showing that children who are spending at least 2 hours daily on screens are scoring worse on language and reasoning tests. The study is also working to determine if screen time is truly addictive.

"In many ways, the concern that investigators, as I have, is, that we're sort of in the midst of a natural kind of uncontrolled experiment on the next generation of children," Dimitri Christakis, a lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' recently discussed in the interview.

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting overall screen use as well as recommending that parents "avoid digital media use—except video chatting—in children younger than 18 to 24 months."

All screen time is not created equal. Play Attention is advanced technology that promotes executive function training and behavior shaping.  Play Attention improves attention, behavior, and cognitive function for children and adults. We will customize a program to address your specific needs. Our system is technology based; however, the graphics are very low stimuli, yet engaging and fun. Play Attention uses technology as a healthy educational tool to teach you how to increase your attention and improve life skills.  Use your screen time wisely.