Is Screen time a problem for kids?

Eastside SpeechBlog

screen time for children

In today’s world, screens are everywhere – phones, tablets, computers, and TVs are all over our lives. They bring lots of good things, but there’s a worry, especially for kids. A recent study by the Telethon Kids Institute looked into this worry: too much screen time might affect how well toddlers learn to talk.

The study found something worrying: kids might miss hearing up to 1,000 words from adults every day because they’re spending too much time with screens. This is important because kids learn to talk by hearing and chatting with people around them.

Learning to talk is a big deal for kids. It starts from when they’re babies and keeps going as they grow. Talking helps them learn words, how to put sentences together, and how to communicate with others. But when they’re glued to screens, they miss chances to chat with people and learn from what’s happening around them.

Screens can also get in the way of face-to-face time, which is super important for kids learning to talk. When they’re looking at screens, they miss out on seeing people’s faces and gestures, which are a big part of learning to talk and understand others.

And what they watch on screens matters too. Some stuff is great for learning, but a lot of it is just for fun. If kids spend too much time on screens with not much talking, it can make it harder for them to learn new words and talk well.

Because of all this screen time, more and more parents are needing help for their kids who aren’t talking as well as they should be. This shows how important it is to deal with the screen time problem early so kids can learn to talk well.

The national screen time guidelines from the Australian Institute for Families are:

  • no screen time for children younger than two years
  • no more than one hour per day for children aged 2–5 years
  • no more than two hours of sedentary recreational screen time per day for children and young people aged 5–17 years (not including schoolwork).

But it’s not all bad news. Not all screen time is bad for all kids – it’s just about using it in the right way for the right age. There are lots of cool apps and games that can help kids learn while they play. And if parents set some rules about screen time and make sure kids have lots of chances to chat and play in real life, it can balance things out.

Parents can do a lot to help:

  • Limit screen time for toddlers and create screen-free zones in the home.
  • Encourage real-life interactions and conversations with caregivers.
  • Prioritize high-quality, educational content when allowing screen time.
  • Balance screen time with other activities like reading, outdoor play, and creative pursuits.
  • Be familiar with the national screentime guidelines for children
  • Seek early intervention if children show signs of delayed language development, with services like Eastside Speech Solutions ready to assist.

The study by the Telethon Kids Institute shows why it’s important to make sure kids have enough time to learn and chat without screens getting in the way. And if parents need help, at Eastside Speech Solutions are there to lend a hand. So don’t hesitate to reach out if your child needs a little extra support with talking.

Remember early intervention is the best intervention.

Please give us a call- we’re here to help! Ph 9398 3020