Babies and Screen Time: New Research Calls for Caution

An important article on the effects of screen time on young children was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2023. It was then blogged about a few weeks later on Answers: Your Destination for Kids’ Health, a web resource of Boston Children’s Hospital. Today we’re bringing the news directly to you on the Neighborhood!

following over 400 children from infancy to age 9, researchers found that higher screen time at 12 months of age was associated with babies having a harder time maintaining the calm, alert state needed for learning. Long-term possibilities also seemed to suggest problems with focus, impulse control, and emotional regulation in elementary school. The researchers did acknowledge that screen time is just one of many possible environmental factors that could contribute to this outcome and suggested that parents engage in more back-and-forth, interactive play in early childhood—like “serve and return” activities we’ve posted about several times—to promote their babies’ brain development.

Check out “Babies and Screen Time: New Research Calls for Caution” on the Boston Children’s Hospital website or read the original JAMA article here.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK5: The importance of play as context, method, and outcome of learning.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-DR):
    • IFSP-DR5 (EIS): Understands the rationale for the identification and selection of intervention strategies used in everyday routines, relationships, activities, places and partnerships for early intervention activities
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-i):
    • IFSP-i3 (EIS): Knows generic and specific evidence-based early intervention strategies to support all areas of development.
    • IFSP-i6 (EIS): Understands the need for developmentally appropriate strategies adaptations, assistive technologies, and other supports that maximize the child’s learning opportunities.
    • IFSP-i11 (EIS): Knows strategies that support parents in adapting the natural environment to meet infant/toddler developmental needs.

I know that “upshot” is technically used correctly here as a synonym for “outcome,” but the word is colloquially used to describe a positive outcome/benefit…which is not what we want to imply here.

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