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Valley doctor warns too much screen time could affect young kids’ brains

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PHOENIX — A Valley doctor is warning families about screen time usage for young children after a recent study showed that too much of it could affect the development of their brains.

The study published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday found that prekindergarten children that use screens more often than recommended were not as competent at language and literacy skills as those who use screens less often.

“It’s like a lot of things … if you overdo it you’re going to get a negative response,” Dr. Javier Cárdenas, director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.  “That’s really where the most recent publication that came out looking at the brain’s white matter in kids who use screen time quite a bit.”

Cardenas suggests parents and guardians be more thoughtful with how often they let their young children have screen time because of the new study.

He said the youngest children should have no exposure to screens unless it’s for communication purposes, like Skype or FaceTime.

For young children who are a little more developed, screen time should be limited to communication and learning activities.

“Limit the amount of screen time and be thoughtful about how we use the technology to be more appropriate for the age group,” Cardenas said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report. 

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