More than two hours a day of screen time may keep toddlers’ brains from developing  normally, according to a new study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The study tracked 47 children ages 3 to 5 for 15 months. Researchers clocked the kids’ daily time spent on tablets and smartphones, then scanned the youngsters’ brains with MRIs.
The finding: kids who averaged more than two hours a day with eyes on close-up screens showed “lower microstructural integrity” in the white matter of their brains than those who averaged less than two hours.
White matter is associated with cognitive function and language processing.
The study’s results resemble Canadian research showing that preschoolers who spend more than two hours a day on screens have eight times the risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
TRENDPOST: Excess screen time also has been matched to childhood ills including eyestrain and obesity; prolonged exposure to the devices’ electromagnetic fields also may pose health risks to developing eyes and brains. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than an hour a day of screen time for young children, focused on positive learning with parents watching with the kids to help them interpret what they see.

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