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New study links excessive screen time and ADHD in children

Here is yet another reason for parents to control their child's screen time including watching videos in mobile phones and TV. According to a new study conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Alberta, young children who spend two or more hours of screen time every day are likely to have behavioural problems. Apart from this, they will have mood swings and poor attention spans that can affect their studies as well. Researchers conclude that it is best to let children not spend more than 30 minutes a day with mobiles or on TV. There are high chances of these children developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to the same reason.

Today, both children and adults spend a lot of their time watching movies and videos on mobile phones. TV plays an important role in our lives where we spend many hours watching it. But unlike adults, this excessive screen time can have a deep impact on young children. That is precisely the reason why researchers warn parents to keep a tab of their child's excessive screen time. The ideal solution to this is to let them involve more in physical activities and play outdoors with their peers. Apart from having a healthy body, physical activities also help in the mental well-being of the child.

Jolly Johnson, Founder of Helping Hands Organization (H2O) in Kerala says that parents must understand the benefits of physical activities.

It is high time that our kids understand the beauty of being close to nature by playing under the sun and rain. It helps them in numerous ways. Sadly, most of our kids are trapped inside the four walls of their houses where they spend more time with gadgets. It is great that new studies are being done reflecting the negative effects of excessive screen time. Whether your child has a disability or not, leave them outdoors to explore nature. Like for instance, water therapy is a gift of nature. We use this on children with developmental disorders like autism and ADHD and it does work-Jolly Johnson, Founder, H2O

According to researchers, excessive screen time can also cause various others risks in children and affect their sleeping patterns. The more a child spends time on-screen, the lesser sleep they get. Researchers point out that spending just two hours playing a sport or engaging in some physical activity can do wonders to the child. They are less prone to behavioural problems as well.

"I feel that parent must completely stop their children from spending time on-screen including gadgets and TV. At our centre, we ask our children and their parents to completely stay away from it. Once they understand the beauty of physical activities, then they do not want to get back to gadgets, says Nithya Gopalakrishnan, Founder, Mridulasparsham.

Children who are even two and three years old are spending hours on mobile phones, gadgets and TV. Such studies reflect the need for parents to curb screen time and promote sports or physical activities amongst their children.

ALSO READ: Make classrooms friendly for children with ADHD

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