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Study: Kids under 5 spend more time on screens than ever before

Study: Kids under 5 spend more time on screens than ever before
/ Oscar Wong / Moment / Getty Images

New research shows that children under the age of 5 years old are getting more screen time than any generation before.

Researchers at the University of Calgary found that children 5 and under have grown to become the fastest-growing digital natives… Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once life took its toll in 2020, screen time has almost doubled due to online classes, watching movies during isolation, playing video games, and so much more.

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) recommends that children under the age of 5 years old get a maximum of 1 hour of screen time per day. While it can be challenging to keep screen time to a minimum (especially in these extraordinary times), the CPS explains that too much screen time in children can lead to negative side effects such as: weight gain, sleep-deprivation, lack of motivation for school, and an increase in aggressive behavior.

While there are many aspects of today’s world that make it hard to completely remove screens from our children (and even ourselves), here are some useful tips that you can consider at home:

  • Lead by example and limit the amount of screen time you use in front of your children.
  • Make sure devices are turned off during meals, when reading, or doing any other activities as a family.
  • Make sure screens are turned off when they are not in use… Like TV in the background.
  • Make sure screen time is not in use at least 1 hour before bedtime, as it can interfere with their sleep.
  • As much as possible, choose healthier activities for your kids, like reading, playing outside, arts and crafts, and more… Over spending time in front of screens.
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