Lifestyle

Look, learn in digital age

HOW does your child's screen time affect their development?

In our digital world, that is a question that has preoccupied scientists, paediatricians and, no doubt, many parents.

Now it seems that there are advantages and disadvantages, depending on content and how much time children spend viewing.

Of course these days it's not just TV we're talking about. It's iPads, mobile phones, and more.

British psychologist Dr Aric Sigman made international headlines when he suggested that, by the time the average child born today reached 80, they would have spent a quarter of their life watching non-related screen technology.

He believes that as time spent looking at a screen or plugging in increases, time spent on direct eye-to-eye contact and developing real-life relationships inevitably decreases.

The World Health Organisation has also identified children's participation in more sedentary forms of recreation, such as playing computer games, as one of the worldwide trends contributing to an overall increase in childhood obesity.

However, The Society for Research in Child Development in the US believes there has been limited research on the positive potential of screen time for youngsters.

Social policy about interactive media for children has understandably focused on health and safety issues: providing parents with information about the appropriateness of content, protecting children online from inappropriate requests for information and from child predators; and providing public scrutiny of the violent content of video games, it says.

"It would also be helpful to inform parents of ways in which positive, enriching media can enhance children's lives.

If educational television has been successful in fostering children's cognitive and social development, one might expect that interactive media would have similar, if not greater, potential."

According to The Parents' Jury, an initiative of Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia - Vic, the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, VicHealth and YMCA Victoria, excessive screen time may contribute to obesity by taking the place of active play or sport, increasing snacking, and increasing demand for unhealthy food and drinks that are heavily advertised on TV.

>>More Lifestyle News

AT A GLANCE

Current Australian guidelines for screen time recommend the following:

  • 5-18 year olds accumulate no more than 2 hours of screen time for entertainment purposes
  • 2-5 year olds accumulate no more than 1 hour of screen time
  • Children younger than two years old do not spend any time viewing TV or other electronic media

Topics:  child development, ipads, mobile phones, world health organisation




City Aldi opening hours revealed

OPENING SOON: Aldi in Maryborough Street opens on Wednesday 3 August.

Store will offer supermarket competition

Only 5 days left to get a free Samsung tablet

Want one of these? We're giving them away free... but only for five more days!

WE'RE giving away Samsung tablets totally FREE!

Latest deals and offers

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

Three reasons your mind will be blown this week

Alan Dale and Jacki Weaver in a scene from the TV series Secret City.

THREE shows on Foxtel to make your mind boggle.

Elena wins MasterChef: “I’m ecstatic and eager to celebrate"

MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena Duggan, from Noosa.

NOOSA chefs survive marathon grand final dish by Heston Blumenthal.

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles