On December 4. maj blev der på ‘2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting’, held in San Francisco, presented a report pointing to, to 'screen time' for very young children can delay their ability, at tale.

As this study appeared on social media was my first thought: Oh no. Now it is only a matter of time before it becomes simplified, and facts about the topic watered down in favor of sensations journalism.

We live in a time, where there are trenches between the pros and cons camp. A time, where data can not draw a clear answer, the technology is to promote or hamper children.
It is a hugely important topic, and should be treated with respect and care for there are too many emotions caught.

As a specialist in child and IT through gradually 8 years of age, I am very interested in all objective research on the subject. Unfortunately we have acquired the habit of throwing us in grams of pseudo-science and prophecies. This study must and will not end the same place.

So, What is this study shows?
between the years 2011 and 2015 has 894 children aged 6 to 24 months participated in a study of the scientific network TARget Kids!. The goal was to find out about 'screen time' vulnerable children's language development based on the 'screens are all over the place'.

“Handheld devices are everywhere these days,” said Dr. Catherine Birken, MD, MSc, FRCPC, the study’s principal investigator and a staff pediatrician and scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Quote from Science Daily

The children's effect was tested in the context of a compulsory test, made by children. A test called ‘Nipissing District Developmental Screen and the Infant Toddler Checklist’, whose purpose is to discover children's language development or delay it. Here is one of the questions: 'Say your child 20 words or more '. A standard as before 2011 hed 5 words.

The parents themselves, which answers these test questions in connection with the child's 18-month study, which is standard practice in Canada. Comparison with Danish conditions can be found at this guide from Fureso municipality.


Will 30 minutes do 49 % difference?

The study showed, at 20 % of the participating children had an average consumption of handheld devices on 28 minutes.
The test also showed, that the more ‘screen time‘ infant exposure, the greater the delay was in the child's verbal communication skills. Not in their capacity for social interaction or bodily expression.
The report concludes, that for every 30 minute screen time a child under 2 years, he the 49 % greater chance of, the child developing speech later than normal.

The conclusion is, however, initial, stresses Dr. Cathrine Birken, study spearheaded by the Canadian team of scientists and doctors behind:

“It’s the first time that we’ve sort of shone a light on this potential issue, but I think the results need to be tempered (because) it’s really a first look.”

Quote from CNN

The experts change their minds

It is worth pointing out, at American Academy of Pediatrics, which until last year rejected all use of screens for children under 2 years of age, has changed its mind and now recommend 'quality apps with adults'.
AAP otherwise has for years been a fierce opponent of the children and Technology, so their easing says a lot about, what developments are constantly going on in the area.

So – we should be worried?

My answer is no but ...
There has been a huge development in the handheld technology of the time, where scientists have been underway. They put into just about implementation of the iPad 2, which helped to make the touch screen everyone's lives. Our approach to technology has been characterized by our own enthusiasm for the new possibilities, we completely without information have plunged us into.

My but appears here, where the consequences of our lack of knowledge has undoubtedly created problems with our development – regardless of age.
Especially our young children are incredibly sensitive to all inputs. Therefore, it is not hard to imagine, that parents have acted negligently when it acted on their children and the new digital media.

Not vexatiously, but lack of knowledge.


generations, who have never known another

Generation Alpha, as the children born after 2010 called, have never known a world without the technology, which is everywhere.
Their parents have tried their way with them, and it is only now, that we are about to have roughly evidence, what passive consumption of media for children can do the damage.
There we however take decades before, that we know what it's done to generation Alpha and generation Z before.

If we use our common sense is the following, however, clear:
No child is able, to understand the world without, it is translated by adults. They have no prior knowledge of what they are born into, and must be guided. children must digitally educated from today 1, whatever the parents of prior experience.

Exactly why the 20 % children have developed fewer verbal language skills than their peers, is hard to say. If they have experienced much interaction with the screen and less with people, it is quite natural.
I will with my experience shooting at, there are several reasons behind the child's technology use thereby affecting its development.
'Monitor time’ alene – a term I would like to have stopped as soon as possible – can hardly cause so much delay in child development.

I may be wrong, but time will tell. In the meantime, we turn cold water in the blood and provide, that our children do not use technology without adult participation.
It is almost always our use or misuse, the underlying issues in the development of both large and small.


Sources for the article