Limited screen time good for children's brains

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"Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities". Those who met all three had the most "superior" global cognition, followed by those meeting the sleep and screen time recommendation and finally the screen time recommendation alone, according to the study.

The children also completed a cognition test, assessing language abilities, memory, attention, working memory and processing speed.

Limiting screen time for children to two hours or less per day is associated with higher cognitive function, according to research published Wednesday in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.

Overall, only 5 percent of the children in the study met all three recommendations on sleep, screen time, and physical activity while 30 percent met none of the recommendations.

Dr Jeremy Walsh from the CHEO Research Institute concluded: "More research into the links between screen time and cognition is now needed, including studying the effect of different types of screen time, whether content is educational or entertainment, and whether it requires focus or involves multitasking".

Well all know that we should try to limit the amount of time our kids spend in front of screens, and now a study has shown doing this could improve your child's performance at school.

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In the study, data were analyzed from 4,520 children from 20 sites across the US.

Parents are all too familiar with the battle to get their children to stop playing video games or watching television to play outside instead.

She suggested that future research could benefit from using data collection methods that provide more precise results than questionnaires which rely on self-reported information.

The findings are likely to be considered by Dame Sally Davies, the country's chief medical officer, who is undertaking a review of the impact of technology on children's health, and whether to set guidance on healthy screen time.

Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have guidelines in place to help with the management of children's screen time. While about half met the sleep recommendation, only 37 percent met the guideline for limited screen time and 18 percent met that for physical activity.

However, it has not yet been proven whether or not poor cognitive development is down to online activity itself or the time spent using electronic devices instead of exercising or sleeping.