It does many of the smallest to such an extent that it exceeds the recommendations.
More than every fourth – 27.5 percent – of the children in the age group 0-3 years thus have a daily screen consumption in addition to the recommended, shows a new report from Vive – The National Research and Analysis Center for Welfare.
For infants, the limit is half an hour a day, and for the two to three-year-olds, the recommended amount is a maximum of one hour.
But is digitization and young children’s screen use harmful – or are there gains to be made?
According to Signe Boe Rayce, senior researcher at Vive and author of the report, toddler screen use is still a new area of research, and the answer is not necessarily unambiguous.
– The digital media, for example phones or iPads, are easily accessible, the children find them exciting, and it can sometimes also be a free space and respite for the parents, she says.
But there is also a risk that high screen usage may replace other important activities such as physical play and the present communication between parents and children.
And then studies suggest that a high screen use can have an impact on the children’s language development as well as sleep, says Signe Boe Rayce.
– So I do not necessarily think it can be said in black or white.
There is general agreement that infants up to one year do not benefit from screen use, says Signe Boe Rayce. However, she points out a trifle – it does not hurt a baby to wave to grandma on a video chat.
– The recommendation is that if toddlers are finally looking at a screen, the content should be of high quality. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly.
– Are they parked on the sofa with a screen, or are mother and father sitting and having a dialogue with the child – there can also be positive aspects, says Signe Boe Rayce.
Specialist Imran Rashid specializes in children’s digital development and is the author of a number of books on digitalisation, including the book “Turn off – the art of surviving in a digital world”.
He points to a number of unfavorable consequences where children may miss out on exercise or active communities that would otherwise benefit the body and senses.
– It’s a bit like a kind of digital running sushi, which they can just snack on all the time.
– They need to get adult help to set some limits, he says and adds that the algorithms on YouTube, among other things, help to keep the children at the screen.
Imran Rashid also acknowledges that the technological remedies can be used in sensible ways. There are, for example, educational apps, just as there can be educational TV or YouTube broadcasts to download.
– So you have to look at it nuanced.
– But having said that, there are undeniably problematic things in it. You can not get around that. Everything else being equal, they are pacified and probably sit directly and interact with a screen without moving.
– It is the unhealthy digital habits that they need help to avoid getting too many of too soon.
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