2017 Nov;22(8):461-477. doi: 10.1093/pch/pxx123. [Article in En, French] Author Canadian Paediatric Society, Digital Health Task Force, Ottawa, Ontario. The Canadian Paediatric Society has ideas to help you make activity a priority for your family. Members: Stacey Bélanger MD (CPS Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee); Ruth Grimes MD (CPS Board Representative); Janice Heard MD (CPS Public Education Advisory Committee); Matthew Johnson (Director of Education, MediaSmarts); Elizabeth Moreau (Director, CPS Communications and Knowledge Translation); Mark Norris MD (CPS Adolescent Health Committee); Alyson Shaw MD (Chair, CPS Literacy Promotion Advisory Group); Richard Stanwick MD (CPS Public Education Advisory Committee); Jackie Van Lankveld (Manager, Speech Services, Niagara Children’s Centre); Robin Williams MD (Chair, CPS Early Years Task Force). A recent study of smartphone use in fast-food restaurants observed that as time spent by parents on their phones increased, so too did the likelihood of children acting out to gain attention, often leading to negative interactions . One 2010 study found that while time spent watching commercial TV was significantly correlated with BMI, time spent watching non-commercial educational TV was not . Recent evidence suggests an association between elevated levels of TV exposure at age 2 and self-reported victimization, social isolation, proactive aggression and anti-social behaviours in middle childhood . The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) released new guidelines today for digital media use and screen time for kids aged five to 19. When adults mitigate screen time, they: Although a ‘digital divide’ between households with and without Internet access persists in Canada, learning apps on mobile devices may help bridge the gap . While quality educational programming is a leading mitigator of psychosocial risk on any screen, studies show that children’s access to and choice of optimal content peaks early: at 2 to 4 years old . Monitor for signs of problematic screen use at any age, especially oppositional behavior in response to screen limits or complaints about being bored or unhappy when screens are taken away. Do you know how much these are used? Some important trends are reshaping early childhood: Whether early exposure to screen media changes the developing brain is not known, and published research on how (and how much) children younger than 5 years of age actually learn from screens remains limited –. The Canadian Paediatric Society's new position statement recommends families follow the four "M"s when it comes to screen time and young children. Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bedtime, given the potential for melatonin-suppressing effects. Sounds simple, right? Ponti also recommends learning how to use parental controls and settings on your kids’ devices and acquiring their passwords and login information for devices and social media to ensure their safety. Children whose parents have the ability to mentor and curate screen encounters may reap benefits that are less accessible in families with fewer financial resources or parents who cannot be as involved. Does your child take mobile devices into the bedroom? In its research, the task force found that three-quarters of Canadian parents are concerned about their kids’ media use. The trick, says Ponti, is to start having conversations about the benefits and risks of screen use with your kids while they’re still young. ‘Digital media’ refers to content transmitted over the Internet or computer networks on all devices, unless particular ones are specified. Smartphones blur the line between work and home life, timing is unpredictable and responding often requires emotional investment. However, while screens may help with language learning when quality content is co-viewed and discussed with a parent or caregiver , preschoolers learn best (i.e., in expressive and vocabulary terms) from live, direct and dynamic interactions with caring adults . This statement examines the potential benefits and risks of screen media in children younger than 5 years, focusing on developmental, psychosocial and physical health. Prioritize interactions with children through conversation, play and healthy, active routines. COMMUNICATIONS TOOLKIT To support the national launch of the new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Queen’s University have teamed up with ParticipACTION to develop this Communications Toolkit. Developing a family ‘media action plan’ can help protect and reinforce quality family time . A large-scale US study from 2013 found that the spread of mobile devices did not appear to affect the amount or frequency of reading to young children. Internet addresses are current at time of publication. Studies have found that parents’ comfort level with saying ‘no’ to their children’s requests to play games on screen, along with their own media-related beliefs, intentions and attitudes, are key components of constructive, positive limit-setting . Children younger than 5 years learn best from live, immersive interactions with family members and caregivers. What do you watch with your child? Young children learn best from face-to-face interactions with caring adults. Conduct a self-assessment of current screen habits and develop a family media plan for when, how and where screens may (and may not) be used. Ideally, planning begins prenatally; accounts for the health, education and entertainment needs of each child and family member; includes screen-based activities in child care; and is reviewed periodically. What is screen time? In a recent study, parents reported that shifting attention between screens and family life can be stressful, tiring and reduces their ability to interact ‘in the moment’ with children . Often? ), setting limits, the effects on health and well-being and optimal content. Read the newest CPS position statement to … 4 ways to talk to your kids about phone addiction, oppositional behavior in response to screen limits, Confession: I promised my kids I’d put my phone down and I’m failing miserably, 6 social media strategies for parents (even if your kids aren’t on social media yet). 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