Tag Archives: Children who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures’

Einstein Medical Center study: Babies using tables and smart phones

26 Apr

Moi has written about the effect of television on the brains of young children. In Television cannot substitute for quality childcare and parental interaction. Your toddler not only needs food for their body and appropriate physical activity, but you need to nourish their mind and spirit as well. There are several good articles which explain why you do not want your toddler parked in front of a television several hours each day. Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE has a very good explanation of how television can be used as a resource by distinguishing between television watching and targeting viewing of specific programs designed to enhance learning. In Should Babies and Toddlers Watch Television? http://pregnancy.about.com/od/yourbaby/a/babiesandtv.htm Elizabeth Pantley commented about the effects of young children and television. MSNBC was reporting about toddlers and television in 2004. In the MSNBC report, Watching TV May Hurt Toddlers’ Attention Spans the harmful effects of television viewing on children were discussed. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4664749#.UtNlDbB3tdg Robin Yapp of the Daily Mail reported in the article, Children who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2537240/Children-watch-TV-damaged-brain-structures.html#ixzz2qFKiwot6

Alexandra Sifferlin of Time reported in 6-Month-Old Babies Are Now Using Tablets and Smartphones:

Over a third of children under the age of 1 have used a device like a smartphone or tablet, according to a new study.

The study, which was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, showed that by age 2, most kids have used mobile devices. To reach these findings the study authors surveyed 370 parents of kids between the ages of 6 months to 4 years about their exposure to media and electronics.

Overall, technology in the home was common. The survey results show 97% of the families’ homes had TVs, 83% had tablets, 77% had smartphones and 59% had Internet access. According to the parents’ responses, 52% of kids under the age of one year had watched TV, 36% had touched or scrolled a screen, 24% had called someone, 15% used apps and 12% played video games. The amount of time the children spent using devices rose as they got older, with 26% of 2 year olds and 38% of 4 year olds using devices for at least an hour….
The survey results also suggest that parents let their children use media or mobile tech as distraction. For instance the study showed 73% of surveyed parents let their kids play with mobile devices while they were doing chores around the house. Sixty percent said they let children use them while running errands, 65% to calm their child and 29% to put their kid to sleep. Just 30% of the parents in the survey said they spoke to their pediatrician about media use…. http://time.com/3834978/babies-use-devices/

Citation:

Babies as young as 6 months using mobile media
Date: April 25, 2015

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Summary:

More than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by one year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day, according to a new study.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150425215621.htm

First Exposure and Use of Mobile Media in Young Children

Hilda Kabali, Rosemary Nunez-Davis, Sweta Mohanty, Jennifer Budacki, Kristin Leister, Maria Katrina Tan, Matilde Irigoyen, Robert Bonner. Pediatrics, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

BACKGROUND: Smartphones and tablets are the fastest growing technology in human history and mobile devices are becoming the preferred means for children to access media and its content. Little is known about children’s age of initial exposure to mobile media and frequency of use.

OBJECTIVE: To determine age of initial exposure and use of mobile media among young children.

DESIGN/METHODS: We conducted a prospective cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of parents of children aged 6 months – 4 years in October and November 2014 at a hospital-based pediatric clinic that serves an urban, low income, minority community. We used a 20-item questionnaire adapted from the “Zero to Eight” Common Sense Media national survey on media use in children. Parents were asked about types of media devices in their household, children’s age at initial exposure to mobile media, frequency of use, types of activities, and if their pediatrician had discussed media use in children.

RESULTS: 370 parents completed the survey;17 refused. Children were evenly distributed across all age groups; 51% were girls; 74% African American, 14% Hispanics; 13% of parents had less than high school education. Most households had TV sets (97%), tablets (83%), smartphones (77%), and internet access (59%).
How old was your child whe he/she did these activities on a mobile media device?
<1 Year 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years 4 Years
Touched or Scrolled Screen 36% 33% 20% 9% 2%
Called Someone 24% 35% 25% 11% 4%
Watched TV Shows 52% 25% 18% 4% 1%
Played Video Games 12% 26% 36% 18% 7%
Used Apps 15% 26% 36% 17% 7%
Other Activities 32% 25% 26% 15% 3%

Most parents let children play with mobile media while running errands (60%), doing chores around the house (73%), to calm the child (65%), and to put the child to sleep (29%).By 1 year of age, 14% of children were spending at least one hour per day using mobile media, 26% by age 2, and 38% by age 4. Only 30% of parents reported discussing media use with their child’s pediatrician.

CONCLUSIONS: Children are exposed to mobile media devices very early in life, and most children are using them by age two years. A better understanding of the use of mobile media in young children and how it varies by population groups is critical to help develop educational strategies for both parents and health providers.

First Author is a House Officer
E-PAS2015:1165.3

Session: Platform: Media & Technology (8:00 AM – 10:00 AM)
Date/Time: Saturday, April 25, 2015 – 8:30 am
Room: 28C – San Diego Convention Center
Course Code: 1165

Science Daily reported in the article, Mobile and interactive media use by young children: The good, the bad and the unknown:

The authors question whether heavy device use during young childhood could interfere with development of empathy, social and problem solving skills that are typically obtained by exploring, unstructured play and interacting with peers. “These devices also may replace the hands-on activities important for the development of sensorimotor and visual-motor skills, which are important for the learning and application of math and science,” added Radesky…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150130102616.htm

Here is the press release from Boston University Medical Center http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/bumc-mai013015.php
See, How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/childrens-health/articles/2010/10/19/how-to-have-a-happier-healthier-smarter-baby
Parents must interact with their children and read to them. Television or technology is not a parental substitute. Mobile and Interactive devices are also not babysitters and can’t be used to simply distract children.

Related:

Baby sign language
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/28/baby-sign-language/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

The slow reading movement
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

Why libraries in K-12 schools are important
https://drwilda.com/2012/12/26/why-libraries-in-k-12-schools-are-important/

University of Iowa study: Variation in words may help early learners read better
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/16/university-of-iowa-study-variation-in-words-may-help-early-learners-read-better/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Parent homework: Critical television watching with your children

28 Jan

Let’s make this short and sweet. Park your kid in front of the television and you will probably be raising an overweight idiot. Tara Parker-Pope has a great post at the New York Times blog. In the post, TV For Toddlers Linked With Later Problems Parker-Pope reports:

Toddlers who watch a lot of television were more likely to experience a range of problems by the fourth grade, including lower grades, poorer health and more problems with school bullies, a new study reports.
The study of more than 1,300 Canadian schoolchildren tracked the amount of television children were watching at the ages of about 2 and 5. The researchers then followed up on the children in fourth grade to assess academic performance, social issues and general health.
On average, the schoolchildren were watching about nine hours of television each week as toddlers. The total jumped to about 15 hours as they approached 5 years of age. The average level of television viewing shown in the study falls within recommended guidelines. However, 11 percent of the toddlers were exceeding two hours a day of television viewing.
For those children, each hour of extra TV exposure in early childhood was associated with a range of issues by the fourth grade, according to the report published in the May issue of The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Compared with children who watched less television, those with more TV exposure participated less in class and had lower math grades. They suffered about 10 percent more bullying by classmates and were less likely to be physically active on weekends. They consumed about 10 percent more soft drinks and snacks and had body mass index scores that were about 5 percent higher than their peers. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/tv-for-toddlers-linked-with-later-problems/?_php=true&_type=blogs&src=me&_r=0

Well duh, people. You probably already knew this. Guess why you have feet attached to your legs? So, you and the kids can walk around the neighborhood and the park. Better yet, why don’t you encourage your children to play. https://drwilda.com/2012/09/16/play-is-as-important-for-children-as-technology/

Sierra Filucci wrote in the Common Sense Media article, Yes, You Can Make TV Time Count:

Here are some realistic conversation starters to keep in your pocket for when the show ends:
Ages 2-4
Watching TV with kids ages 2-4 is less about delving into provocative topics than it is about reinforcing shows’ positive social messages and lessons.
Ask:
•How did that song go again? Let’s sing it together.
•What were the colors of the rainbow the kids saw?
•How many balloons did the girl have?
•Why were the characters happy/sad/mad?
Ages 5-8
Kids in the 5-8 age range start to see a lot more action and interpersonal conflict, though many shows targeted at this age portray positive resolutions. Asking kids to relate what they see to their own experiences helps the positive lessons sink in. Also, anything that can help kids start to be more media savvy is a good thing.
Ask:
•How did the characters work out their problem?
•Did the characters do something you wish you could do?
•Who were your favorite characters, and why?
•Do the boy characters dress differently than the girl characters? Why?
•What made the show more exciting/scary/funny?
Ages 9-11
As kids get a little older, they’re more curious about the outside world and are figuring out how people relate to each other. Kids this age can be very receptive to age-appropriate guidance, and using TV as a jumping off point can be a super-helpful tool.
Ask:
•What was the consequence for that character’s behavior?
•What tools did the character use to resolve that conflict?
•What makes that character appealing? Or not?
•Did anything in this show surprise you or teach you something you didn’t know?
•Does this show intend to teach something or get a certain message across?
Ages 12-14
As kids enter the teen years, watching TV together can get a little hairy. They’re interested in pushing boundaries, and you might have to talk about exactly why certain shows are off limits. But even controversial TV can be an opportunity to get conversations started and gain some insight into your kid’s social life and inner thoughts.
Ask:
•Does that situation seem realistic?
•Do any of your friends act like that?
•What would happen in real life if someone acted that way?
•Do any of these characters seem like “types”? Why do so many shows repeat the same stories or create such similar characters?
•In reality shows, what do the participants stand to gain or lose by appearing on the show?
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/yes-you-can-make-tv-time-count?utm_source=012314_Parent+Default&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

The issue is whether children in a “captive” environment have the maturity and critical thinking skills to evaluate the information contained in the ads. Advertising is about creating a desire for the product, pushing a lifestyle which might make an individual more prone to purchase products to create that lifestyle, and promoting an image which might make an individual more prone to purchase products in pursuit of that image. Many girls and women have unrealistic body image expectations which can lead to eating disorders in the pursuit of a “super model” image. What the glossy magazines don’t tell young women is the dysfunctional lives of many “super models” which may involve both eating disorders and substance abuse. The magazines don’t point out that many “glamor girls” are air-brushed or photo-shopped and that they spend hours on professional make-up and professional hairstyling in addition to having a personal trainer and stylist. Many boys look at the buff bodies of the men in the ads and don’t realize that some use body enhancing drugs. In other words, when presented with any advertising, people must make a determination what to believe. It is easy for children to get derailed because of peer pressure in an all too permissive society. Parents and schools must teach children critical thinking skills and point out often that the picture presented in advertising is often as close to reality as the bedtime fairy tail. Reality does not often involve perfection, there are warts.

Parents must interact with their children and read to them. Television is not a parental substitute.

Related:

Study: Children subject to four hours background television daily https://drwilda.com/2012/10/02/study-children-subject-to-fours-background-television-daily/

Common Sense Media report: Media choices at home affect school performance https://drwilda.com/2012/11/01/common-sense-media-report-media-choices-at-home-affect-school-performance/

Tohoku University study: Excessive television watching changes children’s brain structure https://drwilda.com/2014/01/12/tohoku-university-study-excessive-television-watching-changes-childrens-brain-structure/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Tohoku University study: Excessive television watching changes children’s brain structure

12 Jan

Moi wrote about the effect on television on children in Television cannot substitute for quality childcare:
Your toddler not only needs food for their body and appropriate physical activity, but you need to nourish their mind and spirit as well.
There are several good articles which explain why you do not want your toddler parked in front of a television several hours each day. Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE has a very good explanation of how television can be used as a resource by distinguishing between television watching and targeting viewing of specific programs designed to enhance learning. In Should Babies and Toddlers Watch Television? http://pregnancy.about.com/od/yourbaby/a/babiesandtv.htm Elizabeth Pantley comments about the effects of young children and television. MSNBC was reporting about toddlers and television in 2004.

In the MSNBC report, Watching TV May Hurt Toddlers’ Attention Spans the following comments were made:

Researchers have found that every hour preschoolers watch television each day boosts their chances — by about 10 percent — of developing attention deficit problems later in life.
The findings back up previous research showing that television can shorten attention spans and support American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that youngsters under age 2 not watch television.
“The truth is there are lots of reasons for children not to watch television. Other studies have shown it to be associated with obesity and aggressiveness” too, said lead author Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a researcher at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4664749#.UtNlDbB3tdg

The issue is whether prolonged television watching affects a child’s brain development.

Nancy Shute is reports in the US News article, TV Watching Is Bad for Babies’ Brains

Babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at 14 months, especially if they’re watching programs intended for adults and older children. We probably knew that 24 and Grey’s Anatomy don’t really qualify as educational content, but it’s surprising that TV-watching made a difference at such a tender age.
Babies who watched 60 minutes of TV daily had developmental scores one-third lower at 14 months than babies who weren’t watching that much TV. Though their developmental scores were still in the normal range, the discrepancy may be due to the fact that when kids and parents are watching TV, they’re missing out on talking, playing, and interactions that are essential to learning and development.
This new study, which appeared in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, followed 259 lower-income families in New York, most of whom spoke Spanish as their primary language at home. Other studies examining higher-income families have also come to the same conclusion: TV watching not only isn’t educational, but it seems to stunt babies’ development. http://health.yahoo.net/articles/parenting/tv-watching-bad-babies-brains

Background television is also not good for the development of a child. Television in the background can be harmful for kids. Alexandra Sifferlin writes in the Time article, TV On in the Background? It’s Still Bad for Kids.
http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/20/tv-on-in-the-background-its-still-bad-for-kids/#ixzz1svpJx5S1
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/23/television-cannot-substitute-for-quality-childcare/

Robin Yapp of the Daily Mail reported in the article, Children who watch too much TV may have ‘damaged brain structures’:

Watching too much television can change the structure of a child’s brain in a damaging way, according to a new study.
Researchers found that the more time a child spent viewing TV, the more profound the brain alterations appeared to be.
The Japanese study looked at 276 children aged between five and 18, who watched between zero and four hours TV per day, with the average being about two hours.
MRI brain scans showed children who spent the most hours in front of the box had greater amounts of grey matter in regions around the frontopolar cortex – the area at the front of the frontal lobe.
But this increased volume was a negative thing as it was linked with lower verbal intelligence, said the authors, from Tohoku University in the city of Sendai.
They suggested grey matter could be compared to body weight and said these brain areas need to be pruned during childhood in order to operate efficiently.
‘These areas show developmental cortical thinning during development, and children with superior IQs show the most vigorous cortical thinning in this area,’ the team wrote.
They highlighted the fact that unlike learning a musical instrument, for example, programmes we watch on TV ‘do not necessarily advance to a higher level, speed up or vary’.
‘When this type of increase in level of experience does not occur with increasing experience, there is less of an effect on cognitive functioning,’ they wrote.
Children who watch the most TV have the most profound changes to their brain structure
The authors said the impact of watching TV on the ‘structural development’ of the brain has never before been investigated.
‘In conclusion, TV viewing is directly or indirectly associated with the neurocognitive
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2537240/Children-watch-TV-damaged-brain-structures.html#ixzz2qFKiwot6

Citation:

Cerebral Cortexcercor.oxfordjournals.org
1. Cereb. Cortex (2013) doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht315 First published online: November 20, 2013
The Impact of Television Viewing on Brain Structures: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses
1. Hikaru Takeuchi1⇑,
2. Yasuyuki Taki1,2,3,
3. Hiroshi Hashizume1,
4. Kohei Asano1,
5. Michiko Asano1,
6. Yuko Sassa1,
7. Susumu Yokota4,
8. Yuka Kotozaki5,
9. Rui Nouchi6 and
10. Ryuta Kawashima2,4,7
+ Author Affiliations
1. 1Division of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer
2. 2Division of Medical Neuroimaging Analysis, Department of Community Medical Supports, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization
3. 3Department of Nuclear Medicine & Radiology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer
4. 4Graduate School of Education
5. 5Smart Ageing International Research Centre, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer
6. 6Human and Social Response Research Division, International Research Institute of Disaster Science
7. 7Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
1. Address correspondence to Hikaru Takeuchi, Division of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, IDAC, Tohoku University, 4-1 Seiryo-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan. Email: takehi@idac.tohoku.ac.jp
Abstract
Television (TV) viewing is known to affect children’s verbal abilities and other physical, cognitive, and emotional development in psychological studies. However, the brain structural development associated with TV viewing has never been investigated. Here we examined cross-sectional correlations between the duration of TV viewing and regional gray/white matter volume (rGMV/rWMV) among 133 boys and 143 girls as well as correlations between the duration of TV viewing and longitudinal changes that occurred a few years later among 111 boys and 105 girls. After correcting for confounding factors, we found positive effects of TV viewing on rGMV of the frontopolar and medial prefrontal areas in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, positive effects of TV viewing on rGMV/rWMV of areas of the visual cortex in cross-sectional analyses, and positive effects of TV viewing on rGMV of the hypothalamus/septum and sensorimotor areas in longitudinal analyses. We also confirmed negative effects of TV viewing on verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. These anatomical correlates may be linked to previously known effects of TV viewing on verbal competence, aggression, and physical activity. In particular, the present results showed effects of TV viewing on the frontopolar area of the brain, which has been associated with intellectual abilities.
Key words
• children
• gray matter volume
• television
• verbal
• white matter volume
• © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

Here is the press release from the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University:

2013 | Press Release
Long term television viewing has a negative impact on higher cognitive brain functions such as developmental changes and verbal abilities in children: Caution should be exercised on extended TV viewing for developing children
2013.11.21 | Press Release , Achievement and Award , Achievements
Professor Ryuta Kawashima of the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience sponsored by Kumon Educational Japan Co., Ltd. at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University has clarified the development of brain anatomy, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral brain function in healthy children and is currently investigating how lifestyle habits affects the development of cognitive abilities and brain functions using brain function imaging devices such as MRI.
A research group headed by Associate Professor Hikaru Takeuchi and Professor Ryuta Kawashima using longitudinal follow-up data in children analyzed if TV viewing habits is associated with change over the years in verbal abilities and brain anatomy. It was discovered that watching TV over an extended period of time has a negative impact on areas of higher-order cognitive functions that includes the frontal pole of the brain. The findings suggest caution should be exercised on long time TV viewing in developing children.
Through brain image analysis, large scale data, and longitudinal data accumulated over the years and discovering the negative effects of viewing TV in children that adversely affects neural mechanisms such as verbal abilities, this innovative research was selected in the British scientific neuroscience journal Cerebral Cortex.
More information (Japanese)
Contact
Associate Professor Hikaru Takeuchi
Division of Cognitive Neuroscience
Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University
TEL: +81-22-717-8457
E-mail: takehi*idac.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)
If watching television is not an appropriate activity for toddlers, then what are appropriate activities? Family Education has a list of Developmental Activities by Age http://life.familyeducation.com/child-development/activities/63988.html

See, How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/childrens-health/articles/2010/10/19/how-to-have-a-happier-healthier-smarter-baby

Parents must interact with their children and read to them. Television is not a parental substitute.
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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