More than 90% of toddlers younger than 3 years interact with at least one digital device at home, new research shows.According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children from 1.5 years to 2 years of age can watch high quality digital media, under 30 minutes a day.

Children 2 to 5 years of age should be restricted to less than an hour a day of high-quality programming, again co-watched with a parent.

When the effect of the animation format was compared with the illustrated format (device versus books), there was a dramatic decrease in the connectivity of networks within certain regions of the brain.
This means when children are transitioning from picture books to books without pictures, it’s possible they may be less able to use their imagination to figure out what’s going on in stories.

Recent data suggest that over 40% of children between 0 and 8 years of age have their own tablets, and older children are using their devices 6 to 8 hours a day.

This is not optimal for healthy brain development. It is during their earliest years that significant pruning of the brain’s synapses takes place and important connections are made.

When everyone is on their devices, children lose out on the quality and quantity of interactions they have with their parents.

They are also losing out on the verbal stimulation that children need to develop language skills and, later on, school readiness.
Once developmentally delayed, children, for the most part, are going to stay developmentally delayed.

Guest Article by Dietician Shwetha Bhatia