Home World Toddlers don’t need firm screen time limits, new Canadian guidance says – National

Toddlers don’t need firm screen time limits, new Canadian guidance says – National

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The Canadian Academy of Pediatrics no longer sets hard time limits for young children and preschoolers to use screens, and instead encourages parents to prioritize educational, interactive and age-appropriate materials. increase.

New guidance released Thursday morning continues to urge children under the age of 2 not to use screens at all, except for video chatting with others, such as grandparents.

But previous recommendations to limit screen time for children ages 2 to 5 to one hour a day have been scrapped as a group of doctors reassess our changing relationship with technology.

Calgary pediatrician Dr. Janice Hurd, a member of the group’s Digital Health Task Force, said parents should reduce passive screen use and focus on watching with their children and modeling desired behaviors. He says it’s better.

“The best thing they can do for their children is to have a one-on-one dialogue with them, if possible,” said Hurd, noting that pandemic lockdowns have reversed the pre-COVID-19 momentum and that various I suspect that the use of screens has been curtailed among age groups.

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“Then, when children realize that they are not teaching anything, especially that they are doing nothing, they will naturally reduce the amount of time they spend on the screen. And for very young children, , which is actually very harmful.”

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Screens aren’t inherently bad per se, Hurd said, but they deprive children of important developmental activities. Excessive screen use in young children, she said, can interfere with language development, prosocial behavior, and executive functioning.

The new guidance emphasizes four principles: screen minimization, mitigation, mindful use, and modeling healthy screen use.

But by moving away from recommended time limits, parents and families can actively establish boundaries with passive consumption and consider when, how, and why they allow young children to use screens. Mr. Hurd hopes to encourage you to do so.

Hurd says the same principles can be applied to older children and teens.

Natalie Coulter, director of the Institute for Digital Literacy at York University, said the pediatric society time limit has long been a source of stress for many families unsure of what to expect.

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“It’s premised on the real simplicity of ‘good times’ and ‘bad times.’ It’s getting hard (even trying to define) what a screen is anymore,” said an associate professor of communication and media studies. says one coulter.

“There’s a really blurry line between the physical and digital worlds. There’s no clear explanation anymore. If you go to school through a screen, is it screen time? Real or digital?”

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Coulter is part of a research group that interviewed parents of children ages 4 to 12 about their use of screens during the pandemic. The study included her 15 households in Canada, as well as families in Australia, Colombia, South Korea, the UK, China and the US.

Stress about how to meet screen recommendations is a common theme, she says, and the concept of imposed time limits is outdated.

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“Parents are under a lot of pressure and guilt.

“I have two girls (and) I’m totally struggling with it. Not that I have great answers for these. But like anything, it’s a very tough binary choice.” I think as soon as you set one rule, the dialogue will close down a bit.”

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Matthew Johnson, director of education for the Ottawa-based group MediaSmarts, admits there’s a tightrope walk when it comes to messaging. He has been involved in the development of new guidelines as a member of his task force for Digital Health at the Academy of Pediatrics, and said that a focus on harm could undermine the media’s constructive advice on how to build his literacy. points out that there is

“If screen time guidelines seem unrealistic, there is also the risk that they will simply be ignored,” says Johnson.

“It would seem as if those guidelines are unattainable because they are so unrealistic and there is nothing that can be done to manage the role of screens in the home. I think it’s far more valuable to use it to provide strategies for establishing positive relationships.”

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Monitor your child’s screen time

The new guidance also encourages pediatricians to discuss screen use during routine visits, and Hurd fears not enough families she’s spoken to seem to be aware of the risks of screens. is expressing

“I ask them: How much screen time does your child get?” Oh, well, maybe an hour before school, two hours after school, then in the evening, and they have TV. in their bedroom,” she says.

“And I just think, ‘Oh, we’re not doing a good job of educating young parents.'”

Even small changes can have a big impact on families who want to curb screen use, she said, suggesting screen-free time, screen-free areas in the home, and turning to books and crafts instead. turn to

“You don’t have to change your whole life, but even doing one thing can improve the outcome of what happens to your children,” says Heard.

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“[At CPS]we are also parents and we understand. We want to be able to give people something concrete that can make a difference without completely disrupting their lives. I think.”

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