Joaquín Callabed, president of the Spanish Social Paediatrics Club and elected academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), presented at the last congress of the French Society of Paediatrics the work “Screens and children”, which he has done together with Georges Picherot, professor of Paediatrics at the University of Nantes. In their study, Callabed and Picherot provide epidemiological evidence that the use of screens by children, poorly conducted, can increase stress, alter sleep, facilitate hyperactivity and reduce the maturation of language and reading comprehension.
The study details how 14% of children spend more than two hours in front of television and one in three has a television or computer in their room.
The reasons that many parents use it is that the screens calm the child, that they have educational power and that while the children are before them, the parents can do other things. Regarding Internet consumption, the work explains that, between six and nine years, 63% of children use the web, a figure that increases to 17 years, when it reaches 96%. The mobile phone has become the main tool to manage activities, leisure and social interaction and its use is increasingly precocious.
Faced with this situation, the study recommends that the family not lose the bond and find leisure moments for the good psychomotor and affective development of their children, maintain a reasoned critical distance with the screens and be close to their children when they are on. In any case, consider the authors, children shouldn’t be in the presence of screens before two years.
“There is evidence that some children are affected at the level of behaviour and learning and socialization due to the excessive consumption of screens in the home and, in some cases, lack comprehensive educational guidelines for families and educators -Callabed said-. We must not demonise these media; the challenge is to use them properly and for the benefit of our children”.