Children who look at screens for more than 2 HOURS a day more likely to have ADHD
18 April 2019, 14:02
A new study claims that just a couple of hours screen time a day can make children more likely to 'be badly behaved' by the time they turn five
Although it’s tempting to load up Peppa Pig every time your toddler has a tantrum, a new study is claiming that just TWO HOURS of screen time a day can increase the risk of behavioural problems in children.
Canadian scientists found that pre-school kids who used smartphones, tablets and other technology gadgets were seven times more likely to suffer from ADHD.
Researchers at the University of Alberta studied more than 2,400 families and found that screen time had a ‘significant impact’ on a child’s development.
As well as bad behaviour, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a likeliness to be inattentive, potential side effects also included disturbed sleep.
Dr Mandhane told MailOnline: “Our data suggests that more screen-time leads to less sleep-time.
“Developing a regular sleep routine, consistent wake and bed times that limit screen-time prior to bed, in also an important part of growth, development, and behaviour.
“In another analysis, we found that children who watched more than 2 hours of screen time per day were almost 65 per cent less likely to sleep 10 hours per day. So more screen time equals less sleep time.”
But while the researchers behind the study recommended a ‘less is more' approach to screen time, they didn't suggest that the use of electronic devices should be completely cut out – just managed more effectively.
“Our data suggests that between zero and 30 minutes a day is the optimal amount of screen time,” Professor Mandhane added.
“The preschool period is an ideal time for education on healthy relationships with screens.”
The scientists also recommended that parents switch screen activity for organised sports, which are said to help combat bad behaviour.
Dr Tamana added: “The more time children spent doing organised sports, the less likely they were to exhibit behavioural problems.
“A lot of the things that you do through organised activities are really important for young kids early on.
“I think in lieu of screen time, it would be beneficial for parents to increase opportunities for other structured activities instead.”