screen kids
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Limiting your kids' screentime could do their mental health a world of good.
Children as young as two are developing mental health problems because of smartphones and tablets, scientists warn.

Just an hour a day staring at a screen can be enough to make children more likely to be anxious or depressed.

This could be making them less curious, less able to finish tasks, less emotionally stable and lowering their self-control, the DailyMail reports.

Although teenagers are most at risk from the damaging devices, children under the age of 10 and toddlers' still-developing brains are also being affected.


Comment: Is too much screen time harming the wellbeing of teens?
During his 10 years of clinical research on the subject, Dr. Kardaras discovered while working with teenagers, that they'd found a new form of escape — a new drug, so to speak, in immersive screens. For these kids, "the seductive and addictive pull of the screen has a stronger gravitational pull than real-life experiences. Many prefer the Matrix to the real world,"he tells The Fix.

Several brain-imaging studies have backed up his claims, showing gray matter shrinkage or loss of tissue volume for internet/gaming addicts. Quite simply put, kids continuously exposed to tech screens at a young age showed higher rates of substance abuse, stress, poor academics and depression. We all love our gadgets, but limiting them for youngsters makes sense.



But research shows 'zombie' children spend nearly five hours every day gawping at electronic devices.

Researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia say time spent on smartphones is a serious but avoidable cause of mental health issues.

"Half of mental health problems develop by adolescence," professors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell said. "There is a need to identify factors linked to mental health issues that are [able to be changed] in this population, as most are difficult or impossible to influence. How children and adolescents spend their leisure time is [easier] to change."

Parents and teachers must cut the amount of time children spend online or watching television while they're studying, socialising, eating or even playing sport.

Professor Twenge said her study, one of the biggest of its kind, backs the American Academy of Pediatrics' established screen time limit - one hour per day for children aged two to five.


It also suggests a similar limit - perhaps two hours - should be applied to school-aged children and adolescents, she added.