GOOD

Scientists finally know what screen time does to your toddler's brain

Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.


RELATED: Chrissy Teigen found a ridiculously cute way to solve a problem all parents of toddlers face

After the MRI, the kids were also given a cognitive skills test. The kids who had higher amounts of screen time had lower scores on the test. They had a harder time rapidly naming objects and had poorer expressive language.


Photo by Hal Gatewood on


The researchers stressed that screen time does not necessarily cause brain damage, it could just be too passive of an activity for proper brain development. "Perhaps screen time got in the way of other experiences that could have helped the children reinforce these brain networks more strongly," Dr. John Hutton, the study's lead author, told CNN.

It's important to give kids a good foundation when they're that young. Young children might not be ready for screens yet. "[T]he brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years," Dr. Hutton said. "That's when brains are very plastic and soaking up everything, forming these strong connections that last for life." The AAP recommends no more than one hour of screen time a day for kids between the ages of 2 and 5.

RELATED: Exhausted mom posts a letter begging husband for help. And then it went viral.

Kids are a lot to handle, and sometimes it's just easier to plunk them down with an iPad. But children should be given activities that help their development, like reading, or doing something creative. Technology isn't going anywhere, but at least we know what it's doing to us and how to mitigate its negative effects.

Health
via

Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading
Business