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How Screens Impact Kids’ Language Development

Have you wondered how screen time might be impacting young children’s brains?

A new study of Australian families has found the average toddler is missing out on more than 1,000 words spoken by an adult each day because they or their parents are watching screens.

Senior research officer at Telethon Kids Institute, Dr Mary Brushe, tells The Briefing what they found:

The study revealed that screen time was interfering with children’s language development due to decrease in opportunities for conversation.

“Nothing is going to replace those conversations that they hear from their parents,” Dr Brushe says.

Guidelines say that children under two years should not be exposed to any screen time, but this is not always realistic for parents.

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Dr Brushe encourages solutions such as interactive co-viewing, which involves the parent repeating words and phrases that are shown on their screens.

“We don’t want screen time to be another thing that parents are made to feel guilty about,” Dr Brushe says.

“We hope that we can just bring some extra advice to them to think about how they might use screens in the future.”

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