Tablets and certain apps may support children’s developmental skills but still it has many negative effects on children. It is very controversial whether tablets should be implemented with all children in early learning environments.
According to the research article “The relationship between life-style and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children: the importance of screen time” written by Danielson and his colleagues, screen time was significantly and positively related to the HOMA-R score and C-peptide levels independent of physical activity and intake of fat and sugar.
Forty-three children with obesity were compared with 43 normal weight peers. Physical activity was monitored by accelerometers and screen time and food intake by diaries. Blood parameters indicative of cardio-metabolic risk were analyzed.
The results indicate that screen time is an important behavioural factor related to obesity and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children.
This means even children take healthy amount of fat and sugar and have good amount of physical activity everyday, screen time itself is a significant factor related to obesity and cardio-metabolic problems.
So, children shouldn’t be exposed to tablets in early learning environments.
Moreover, according to the research investigating the association between Significant narrowing of retinal arteriolar diameter was observed across the increasing quartiles of screen time. Spending increased time in screen time have a more adverse retinal micro vascular profile (narrower arterioles), suggests that lifestyle factors may influence the microcirculation early in life.
Moreover, when children are exposed to tablets, it increases their chances of seeing all different advertisements from apps. According to the Cross-sectional and Prospective Analyses on the relationship between children’s screen media exposure and requests for advertised toys and food/drinks, children’s screen media time was significantly associated with concurrent requests for advertised toys. This gives pressure on parents and the family may not have that much money to buy the toys that are advertised on the apps.
The research article “Preschoolers’ Total Daily Screen Time at Home and by Type of Child Care” used the data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, to calculate daily screen time based on reports by preschooler’s parents and care providers.
The same children were followed and information was collected at approximately 9-months, 2 years, preschool (age 4 or a year away from kindergarten), and kindergarten age. Parents were interviewed at each of those ages and asked to provide contact information for the child’s primary childcare provider, if applicable. With the parent’s permission, those who provide regular childcare for the child were also interviewed.
They concluded that Preschoolers’ cumulative screen time exceeds recommendations and most previous estimates. Pediatric clinicians are uniquely positioned to encourage families to discuss screen time with their children’s caregivers and to advocate for high quality childcare. Efforts to decrease screen time in homes and home-based childcare settings are needed.