If you go to a mall, coffee shop, or even a playground, you’ll notice some toddlers staring down at the glowing screens of tablets or mobile phones. It’s pretty common nowadays. that parents used gadgets to keep their children quiet, occupied and entertained.
According to Today Online, A study has shown that toddlers aged 18 months or earlier who get their first screen time in front of electronic devices, or even computers and television, may experience more disrupted sleep as well as emotional and behavioural difficulties.
A study conducted from 2015-2017, on 367 preschool children in Singapore aged 2-5 yo with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, language delay, global development delay and learning disorders.
The key findings were:
- 52% of them were already exposed to screen time at the age of 18 months or earlier
- 50% of them had at least one screen device in their bedrooms.
- 70% of the children had more frequent sleeping problems.
- 60% of them had clinically significant emotional or behavioural difficulties
Basically, when the children spent time in front of screens, they had disrupted sleep, nightmares, insomnia and so on. This in turn caused them to have emotional and behavioural difficulties, such as tantrums, hyperactivity and an inability to focus.
“Raising parental and general public awareness is necessary to help reduce the negative impact of screen use in young children,” Dr Mae Wong, senior consultant at the department of child development at KKH said.
She also added although the study examined children with neurodevelopmental disorders, the results are applicable to the general population and aligned with existing evidence from studies that have been done on typically developing children.
Dear parents /caretaker, THINK TWICE before you put your children in front of a tech devices!
Source: Today Online