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***(Canada) 25% of preschoolers have learning delays; U of Calgary blames screen time

Jan 28, 2019, University of Calgary, U Today: Excessive screen time linked to preschool learning delays Many children start school inadequately prepared to learn; electronic devices a factor, according to UCalgary study https://ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2019-01-28/excessive-screen-time-linked-preschool-learning-delays One in four Canadian children are starting their school years inadequately prepared for learning and a newly published study led by the University of Calgary shows that excessive screen time is a key contributor to this growing problem. … “Our study shows that preschool kids who get too much screen time, on video games, internet-connected devices, television screens, and other digital mediums are among those showing delays and deficits in learning by the time they enter school at the age of five.” The study in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics examined the association between screen time and early childhood development in 2,500 Alberta homes between 2011 and 2016. Families were asked to report on the number of hours their children spent in front of screen-based devices. The children who were monitored spent, on average, 2.4, 3.6 and 1.6 hours of screen time per day at two, three and five years of age, respectively. These amounts exceed the Canadian Pediatrics Society’s recommended pediatric guideline which states that children aged two to five spend no more than one hour per day with high-quality programming, geared towards learning and development. The study also showed an association between excessive screen time and negative physical, behavioral and cognitive outcomes for the children tested. Children who had excessive screen time were failing to meet developmental milestones in language and communication, problem-solving, and fine and gross motor skills. … Too much screen time contributes to learning deficits…