Does screen time impact speech development?

Screen time is a big issue that seems to come up a lot in conversations with parents these days. Screens are always so accessible and are very helpful in so many ways. However, what are they really doing to the development of our children? Recent research has started to emerge about the impacts of screen time.

Here are some facts about kids and screen time in Australia:

– At 4-5 years children average more than 2 hours of screen time per week day

– By 12-13 years children average more than 3 hours per week day and 4 hours per weekend day

– 53% of children spend more than one hour per day playing computer or electronic games by the time they are 11 years old

– Latest research demonstrates that use of screens negatively impacts the amount of words that a preschooler uses.

Current Australian recommendations for screen time are no screen time for children until 2 years and limiting screen time to less than one hour per day for 2-5 year olds.

When choosing screen time activities try and stick to some with an educational component that are also fun, for example reading eggs.

Other activities that you can try that encourage language development include:

– Reading books – even if your little one is not able to read yet, you could give them some books to look at and explore.

– Craft activities – creativity is a great way to encourage communication. It also helps with developing fine motor skills e.g. drawing, cutting and writing.

– Outside play – there is always lots to see and talk about when you are outside. You could go to the local park, go for a walk in the bush or go outside in the backyard.

They say ‘the days are long, but the years are short.’ It can be tiring to play all day, but it is such an important part of our children learning and growing. You are doing a wonderful job!!

Olivia Green

Principal Speech Pathologist

Olivia Green
Speech Pathologist

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