A recent study found out that the amount of time children spend playing digital games or watching TV has an effect on their emotional and mental development. This will remind parents on the importance of monitoring their children's media use.
This study looked into the TV watching and playing habits of 3,600 European children whose ages are between two to six years old. The children were monitored for two years and their parents were asked questions about their child's self-esteem, emotional stability, ability to make friends, peer problems and overall well-being.
The study discovered that for girls who are four years old, an hour spent using any digital media during weekdays correlates to a 200 percent risk of developing emotional problems when they reach the age of six.
For boys and girls, the additional hour spent watching TV was linked to the increase of having poor family relations.
The study failed to consider other important factors such as determining whether the parents are watching the TV with their children or not as well as the content of the TV show and the video games.
Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that children should only be allowed to watch TV or play video games for at most two hours every day. They also discouraged parents from letting children who are two years old and younger to watch TV.
Another study also discovered that children with parents who don't monitor their use of media have increased chances of acquiring a high Body Mass Index (BMI) at age seven. The results remained the same even if the researcher considered other variables such as the BMI of the parents and educational attainment.
"Our results suggest that interventions aimed at parental supervision and control of child media exposure may promote healthy child weight development during middle childhood," the researchers from the Oregon Social Learning Center told LiveScience.
Both of the studies were published in the March 17 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.