Smartphones can be an ADHD trigger in children

Smartphones can be an ADHD trigger in children

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High risk for ADHD from smartphones?

The use of smartphones by children and adolescents is now completely normal. However, if young children spend more than two hours a day in front of smartphones, tablets or other screens, this increases their risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) seven-fold.

A recent study by the University of Alberta found that two hours a day in front of a smartphone screen in children dramatically increases the risk of an attention disorder. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "PLOS ONE".

3,500 children participated in the study

The data from 3,500 children were analyzed for the current study. It was found that up to the age of five, a high time in front of the screen was associated with a much higher risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Parents judged their children's behavior

For the study, parents were asked to indicate how much time their three-year-old children spent watching TV screens, video games, and mobile devices. There was also a behavior checklist at the age of five, which also included behavior at school. The average three-year-old spent 90 minutes a day looking at screens.

Club sports reduce the risk of behavioral problems

One in seven participants spent more than two hours in front of the screen, which caused the risk for the criteria of ADHD to increase 7.7 times. The study also found that children who spend more time in club sports are less likely to have behavioral problems. It was also found that the screen time at the age of five had a significant impact. Parents should not let their children spend more than two hours a day in front of smartphones, televisions, computers or tablets. Especially when eating, the smartphone should not be used and children should not use a smartphone in the evening before going to sleep, as this has a negative effect on their sleep. Another study on the subject last year found that lack of sleep in young people triggered by smartphones promotes depression.

How much time are preschoolers allowed to spend in front of the screen?

The recommended screen time for preschoolers should be much more limited. The data suggest that between 0 and 30 minutes a day is the optimal screen time for children of this age. The pre-school days are an ideal time to teach children how to use smartphones and other technology in a healthy way, the researchers report.

Activities have to be structured

Several factors have been identified that provide protection against the negative effects of screen time. Adequate healthy sleep had little impact, while participating in club sports offered a very significant protective effect. Interestingly, it was not only the physical activity that was protective, but the activity had to take place in the club, the authors of the study explain. The more time children spend on club sports, the less likely behavioral disorders are. Instead of parking his children in front of the screen, parents should instead improve the opportunities to participate in such club activities. (as)

Author and source information

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