Parenting is not child’s play. Apart from the sleepless nights and rushed days that parents get used to, new findings published in medical journal The Lancet: Child & Adolescent Health have confirmed empirically what many of us knew via anecdotal evidence -- the more their screen time, the dumber, fatter and meaner our children will be. The report, titled 'Convergent influences of lifestyle behaviour on neurocognitive development in children' investigates the effects of three movement behaviours — physical activity, sleep and screen time —independently and/or in combination on children’s neurocognitive development. It states that too much screen time will lead to a sapping of children’s intelligence. Researchers found out that on average, children aged eight to 11 spent around 3.6 hours a day on television screens, tablets and mobile phones, which is nearly double the ideal limit.
More screen time leads to a loss of adequate sleep, which in turn disrupts cognitive skills like language, behaviour, memory and ability to complete a task. Other countries, it is recommended, should follow Canada’s lead – the first country to propose time limits for back-lit screen. As parents, all you can do is talk to your kids about limiting screen time and then enforce the limits you have laid down. It's important, for the kids.