Study: Childrens Brains Heavily Impacted by "Screen Time"

The ten year study is testing over 4,500 children

Fred Bodimer
December 11, 2018 - 1:10 pm
Kids looking at smartphone screens

ID 87307155 © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime.com

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A new study finds children's brains are impacted by heavy screen time. 

This ongoing study, featured recently on 60 Minutes, examined children who use smart devices, like smartphones or tablets, or play video games for more than 7 hours daily.  MRI scans showed the thinning of the brain's cortex -- the part of the brain that processes information.

SLU Care's Dr. Ken Haller is a pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.  His advice to parents?

"The most important thing about this, particularly for kids who are a little bit older, is making sure that parents are aware of what kids are watching," Dr. Haller told KMOX Health Editor Fred Bodimer this week. "(That includes) what media they're consuming, and most important: making sure media isn't taking the place of interactions with other human beings (such as) parents, siblings, or friends."

Dr. Haller says good habits for children often start with their parents.

"Above all, just set a good example. Put down the phone, put down to the tablet, and go to the park and have a good time together."

This is a ten-year study of over 4,500 children, so any definitive results are still some time away.