Experts are once again calling attention to the dangers of exposing children to electronic screen use. This does not come as a surprise at all- experts have been saying same for a while now- but startling statistics from France and North America are causing another level of panic.
In a report published in the French newspaper Le Monde on January 17, professionals at the French Screen Overexposure Collective (Collectif Surexposition Ecrans, or CoSE) expressed fears about the acute rise in intellectual and cognitive disorders in children and caution parents on the need to protect their kids from early overexposure to electronic screens including television, phones, computer and tablet.
The National Education department published its benchmarks and statistical references for 2018 that included the number of students suffering from variety of cognitive let-down.
According to a representative of CoSE,
” The results are striking. The number of children between the ages of 2 and 11 suffering from
intellectual and cognitive problems, psychological problems, and language disorders is increasing dramatically.
Since 2010, cases of intellectual and cognitive disorders have increased by 24 percent, Psychological
disorders by 54 percent, and speech and language disorders by 94 percent.”
In the space of 10 years, children have developed staggering levels of difficulty expressing themselves, learning, and managing emotions.
How The Disorders Are Linked To Overexposure To Screens?
Paedectricians, child psychiatrists, psychologists and experts from related fields are asking if environmental factors might account for a part of the increase of these disorders in children?
They highlight the many studies conducted over the last two decades, establishing a mild link between too early exposure to screens and sleep, language, behaviour and attention disorders.
For older children, other studies confirm the impact of excessive exposure to screens on physical activity, weight, vision and mood (anxiety, isolation, and depression) and hypersexualised and violent attitudes from watching scenes of pornography and violence.
Factly, Young Children Watch Too Much TV
Because parents themselves do not take into account how serious the dangers of overexposure to screen is, reversing the trend of declining intellectual cognitive and intellectual abilities in children will be quite a challenge. While many experts advocate not exposing children to screens before the age of three, the Longitudinal French Study From Childhood reveals that two-thirds of two-year-old children watch television everyday.
According to experts, the statistics are no better in America. The Collective calls on public authorities to reinforce research teams, so that France can carry out studies that would remove all doubts on the subject, and to develop a national strategy to check the menace while providing support for parents.
No doubt, screens are a easy way to entertain children of all ages and to also keep them busy so parents can have time for work or some other activities, but it appears that the ‘easy way’ out is coming at an incredibly high price.
Experts believe that the time is right for parents everywhere to take action and protect their child’s future by limiting screen time for children, while directing them to other types of age appropriate entertainment and education, especially interactions that directly involve parents with their kids (playing board games, reading and telling stories, crafts, etc).
It will certainly require sacrifices-maybe parents themselves may need to limit their own screen time- but the rewards will be a fuller life for the children.