Phone, tablet and computer screens should be BANNED for children under six, psychologist warns, as they make kids ‘more irritable’ and ‘worsen their concentration and memory skills’
- Dr Álvaro Bilbao says screens should find their way into kid’s hands ‘gradually’
- He says they may also become unhealthily dependent on devices with screens
Parents should ban screens for children under the age of six, according to a psychologist.
Children who regularly stare at the screens of smartphones, tablets and computers are more irritable and have worse concentration and memories than youngsters who do not use them, according to evidence cited by neuropsychologist Dr Álvaro Bilbao.
In his book, Understanding Your Child’s Brain, he states: ‘Screens should indeed feature in the child’s life, since they are part of our lives, but in my opinion it is better that they find their way into the child’s hands gradually.
‘This should happen once their brain has developed a little more, emotionally speaking, and also improved its ability to control itself.
‘In other words, from the age of six.’
Parents should ban screens for children under the age of six, according to a psychologist. Pictured: A baby holds a phone in a car seat
There is evidence children who regularly stare at the screens of smartphones, tablets and computers are more irritable and have worse concentration and memories than youngsters who do not use them. Pictured: A young child looks at a tablet with the YouTube logo on the screen
Studies indicate that children who spend more time in front of screens are more likely to develop behavioural problems or childhood depression.
They may also become unhealthily dependent on devices with screens, and lose interest in other activities that are more beneficial to their development, according to the new book.
Dr Bilbao, who trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, writes: ‘I don’t have any apps for children on my mobile phone or my tablet.
‘Occasionally my children use the mobile phone to look through photos of our holiday, or the day we made a cake, and we do it together.
‘Sometimes we look at a song with them and learn the dance moves, but they don’t play games.
‘We also limit their time in front of the television.’
The World Health Organisation says that under-fives should have no more than an hour a day of screen time, while advising a total ban on screens for under-twos.