(STUDY FINDS) -- CINCINNATI — Young children have never been easy to keep entertained. It’s frequently a challenge for parents to keep their pre-schoolers content, especially on long car rides, visits to in-laws, or trips to the doctor. Decades ago, a child may have nothing more than a book or a few toys to engross themselves in, but more recently it has become increasingly common to see children as young as three or four staring at their very own tablet or smartphone. On the surface, this seems like a win-win for parents and kids alike. Mom and dad get a break, and junior is able to catch up on his or her favorite cartoons or online games.
But parents may want to reconsider this modern-day child rearing strategy. A new study finds that all that screen time is quite literally changing the structure and integrity of children’s developing brains.
More specifically, the areas of the brain impacted are responsible for language skills, literacy, and overall executive functions (attention span, planning skills, organization, and emotion management). To that end, the research team subsequently observed an association between increased screen time among 3-5 year olds and lower expressive language, thought processing, and literacy test scores.
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