PLONKING toddlers in front of a screen does lasting damage to their brains, say scientists.
Kids struggle to stay alert, control emotions, follow instructions and persist in tasks.
Plonking kids in front of a screen does lasting damage to their brains[/caption]
Boffins asked parents to report how long children, aged from 12 months, spent on screens each day.
This was ranked in groups — less than an hour, one to two hours, two to four hours and more than four hours.
Tots’ brain activity was checked at 12 and 18 months, and traits such as attention span and control of impulses at age nine.
Findings showed kids exposed longer to screens had more low frequency waves — matching their struggles to stay alert.
Brains grow rapidly from birth but the part behind attention and emotions — the prefrontal cortex — takes longer to form.
Development is disrupted by bombardment with fast-paced images and blinking lights.
Tots’ brains get overwhelmed and struggle to develop cognitive skills.
Professor Chong Yap Seng said of the Singapore study: “The findings should not be taken lightly as they have an impact on development of future generations.”