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Balance toddlers’ screen time with real world

It has become a reality of our modern digital world that even babies and toddlers spend more and more time in front of electronic screens, instead of engaging in face-to-face inter­action with humans or exploring the real world.

Various international studies recommend that children up to two years old should not at all be exposed to electronic screens, such as that of tablets, laptops and cell phones – even television screens.

Their brain develops rapidly during the first three years and their development is particularly sensitive to their immediate environment.

Some studies have shown that babies and toddlers experience delayed cognitive development when exposed to electronic screens.

In addition, their eyesight is adversely affected and their brains could also be affected by the electromagnetic radiation emitted from these electronic screen devices.

Studies have reported that their sleeping patterns become disturbed due to the suppression of melatonin, also called the “sleeping hormone”.

A growing body of evidence shows that exploring the real world is still the best way for their cognitive, physical and social development during these formative years.

Toddlers three to five years old should not be exposed to electronic screens for more than one hour per day, and then preferably under the supervision of a parent or secondary caretaker.

Spending face-to-face time with your baby or toddler will yield great results in the long run.

After all, touching a picture of mom’s face on an electronic screen cannot substitute the “real mom’s” face.

– Braam Botha, lawyer and founder of Imagine 122, is currently doing his doctoral studies in this field. Call him on 082-829-5190 or send an email to 122imagine@gmail.com or smart@jabattorneys.co.za.

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