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Study: More Time with Electronics Hurts Kids Ability to Socialize
Written by Rachel McDevitt
Last updated on September 02, 2014 @ 8:27PM
Created on September 02, 2014 @ 5:39PM
 
We are surrounded by screens every day, from our TVs at home to our computers at work, and it's no different for our kids.
 
Now a new study from UCLA is saying that more and more time on tablets, smart phones, and computers is keeping kids from being able to recognize emotions. The study looked at two groups of sixth graders. One group spent the week at an outdoor education camp with no access to electronics. The other group stayed at home and had regular access to their devices.
 
At the end of the week, the kids were shown 50 pictures of faces and asked to identify the emotions. The kids who had spent all week interacting with each other away from electronics did much better than the other group at picking up the social cues. Researchers said they hope this study could make school systems think twice about making sure all students have access to iPads and instead focus on face-to-face interaction.
 
Doctors recommend limiting screen time to less than two hours a day for older kids and to keep toddlers away from them completely, because as their brains are developing they are very impressionable and need a lot of in-person interaction.
 
"We definitely recommend physical activity every day and to limit screen time. It's kind of based on age, but about an hour or two per day depending on how old they are," said Dr Mary-Ann Kroll, a pediatrician with United Hospital Centers.
 
Local people told about this study were concerned that our young generation could grow up too attached to electronics.
 
"When I was little, kids were only allowed to spend 30 minutes or so watching TV and now kids watch TV and then they play on their iPads or iPhones or whatever they have for hours and hours a day, so I think that definitely needs to be limited," said Bessie Detwyler of Marion County.
 
Researchers recommend parents sit down with their kids to decide how much time should be spent on media every day.

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