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Two hours screen time predisposes toddlers to attention deficit disorder

A new research has suggested that toddlers who spend hours staring at screens every day are more like to be badly behaved by the time…

A new research has suggested that toddlers who spend hours staring at screens every day are more like to be badly behaved by the time they are five.

It also revealed that it also makes them seven times more likely to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that is characterized by difficulty paying attention, excessive activity, and behavior without regards to consequences which is not appropriate for a person’s age.

Pre-school children who use smartphones, tablets and other gadgets for more than two hours a day are also seven times more likely to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD ADHD, the study said.

The screen time has a ‘significant impact’ on the child’s development, researchers said as they warned parents need to cut it down.

One author of the study suggested this is because time spent looking at screens is time taken away from healthier activities such as sport or sleep.

Just half an hour per day, or even less, would be the optimum amount for pre-school aged children, according to the researchers.

But experts in the field immediately dismissed the findings as having ‘critical shortcomings’ and doing nothing to prove the screen time had actually caused the bad behavior according to MailOnline.

Scientists at the University of Alberta studied more than 2,400 families and found children glued to screens have more significant behavioural problems. The researchers recommend a maximum of 30 minutes per day for toddlers

Those exceeding two hours per day were five times more likely to be inattentive, in addition to a higher risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

We found screen time had a significant impact at five years of age, said Dr Piush Mandhane.

Three-year-olds in the study spent an hour-and-a-half, on average, looking at screens every day. This fell slightly to 1.4 hours for five-year-olds.

The researchers found screen time may even have a bigger effect on a child’s behaviour than how much sleep they get or how stressed their parents are.

“Our data suggests that more screen-time leads to less sleep-time ,” Dr Mandhane told Mailonline “Developing a regular sleep routine, consistent wake and bed times that limit screen-time prior to bed, in also an important part of growth, development, and behaviour.

The research published in the journal PLOS ONE  backs up past research also suggesting damage to sleep, and other studies pointing to poorer brain development, mental health issues and damaged eyes.

A lack of sleep in childhood could stunt the growth of the brain and therefore lead to problems later in life.

Scientists at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa found children aged between eight and 11 had five per cent worse brain function than their peers if they spent more than two hours per day looking at a screen.

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