The US already recommends that children under the age of two shouldn’t have ANY screen time whatsoever and other children no more than 2 hours a day. Now there are fears about young children becoming addicted to smart phones and tablet computers.
One study found that the more TV children aged between 2 and 6 watched the more likely they were to suffer from difficult family relationships, a prime cause of unhappiness.
The study followed children for several years and they watched TV from between 30 minutes to 3 hours a day. The researchers found that for every extra hour that they watched TV there was a 30% increase in emotional problems for girls and a 20% increase for boys.
These outcomes were worse than when children played computer games or used computers.
Government research last year found that older children who spent less than an hour a day playing computer games were almost three times more likely to say they were happy than those who spent longer playing them.
British children seem to spend far more time in front of screens than children in other countries. Between 60 and 70% of them watch more than 2 hours of TV a day whereas in Switzerland the percentage is almost half that at 35%.
There’s also a link between watching TV and obesity – presumably because of the sedentary nature of the (non) activity.
Source: The Times 18 March 2014