Screen time and young children

Evidence-based articles from Digital Child researchers and collaborators.

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We found four main ways parents try to deal with their children’s use of screens. All have their benefits and drawbacks.

For many families, there is a daily battle around getting kids off their screens and avoiding “tech tantrums”. 

Our new research looks at how parents and carers can help children with what researchers call “technology transitions”.

3 ways app developers keep kids glued to the screen – and what to do about it

From learning numbers to learning how to brush your teeth, it seems there’s a kids’ app for everything. 

Recent US statistics indicate more than half of toddlers and three-quarters of preschoolers regularly access mobile apps. So it’s no surprise there has been an explosion of options within the app market to keep kids engaged.

These apps certainly offer some fun interactive experiences, not to mention good educational content in many cases. They’re also very good at keeping young minds engaged. So what’s the catch? 

You just read it: they are very good at keeping young minds engaged – so much that kids can struggle to put their devices down. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so hard to tear your child from their device, read on.

Screen time doesn’t have to be sedentary: 3 ways it can get kids moving

There have been concerns about screens making kids more sedentary and less active since TV was introduced more than half a century ago.

“Screen use” and “not enough exercise” are (separately) among the top health concerns Australian parents have about their children. 

But screens are not necessarily the enemy of exercise. Our research looks at how screens can help children be physically active.

Using screens can affect a child’s physical health and development, but that doesn’t mean screens are bad

People often worry about how the use of digital technology affects the physical health and development of children and young people.

So for more than 20 years, our team at Curtin University’s School of Allied Health has been researching these physical implications.

We’ve identified two types of risks: risks while using screens, and risks because using screens replaces other activities.

But we’ve also developed some ways to think about screens and screen use that parents and professionals may find useful.

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