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Study finds harmful results related to screen time for kids under age 2

via Streaming Well
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A new study from Drexel University suggests that increased screen time during the first two years of a child’s life is associated with atypical sensory behaviors.

The research, based on data from 1,471 babies and toddlers, found that screen exposure at different ages led to various sensory processing challenges.

The study highlights potential risks of screen time for young children, linking it to sensory issues and developmental outcomes. (Trending: Clintons Scramble To Delete Embarrassing Photo, But Were Too Slow)

Karen Heffler, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Drexel University, said, “This study finds an association between greater screen time in the first two years of life and ‘high’ sensory-related behaviors in areas.”

National Institute of Health reported observing “U.S. children and their parents designed to study environmental influences on child health and development.”

“Although screen time of the children at each of the ages studied was found to be associated with atypical sensory processing at 33 months of age, the types of atypical sensory processing differed by the age of exposure,” wrote Heffler.

“Atypical sensory processing is commonly seen in several behavioral health problems, including children with ADHD and up to 90% of children with autism,” explained the researchers.

Heffler wrote that screen time “was associated with sensation avoidance, sensory sensitivity and sensation seeking. Atypical sensory processing is commonly seen in several behavioral health problems, including children with ADHD and up to 90% of children with autism,” she continued.

“Prior to this study, there was little understanding of potential risk factors for atypical sensory processing,” said Heffler.

“This study gives further evidence that screen time for the youngest children should be avoided,” revealed the researcher. “This study adds atypical sensory processing to the list of other developmental outcomes,” she said.

Heffler said, infants “do not have the capability to fully understand what they see on TV or video, but the lights, colors, sounds and movement experienced during screen time would have an impact on how the neurons in the brain connect, potentially affecting sensory processing pathways and sensory-related behavior.”

“For young children who are experiencing symptoms associated with atypical sensory processing, clinicians may wish to inquire about the children’s screen viewing habits,” Heffler said.

“There is emerging evidence that markedly reducing screen time and increasing socially engaging activities in young children with autism, for example, is associated with reduction of autism-related symptoms, including the sensory-related symptoms of restricted/repetitive behavior,” warned the doctor.

Dr. Zeyad Baker, a pediatric physician with Baker Health in New Jersey, “To be honest and point-blank, the least amount of screen time is healthy for children.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding screen time for children under 18 to 24 months, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides specific guidelines for screen use based on age.

The study aims to help clinicians and parents address sensory issues in young children by reducing screen time and encouraging social interaction and play.

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