Screen time and kids: New findings parents need to know

A new study says kids aged 3-5 who had more than an hour of screen time per day without parental involvement had changes to their brains. Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
2:07 | 11/05/19

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Transcript for Screen time and kids: New findings parents need to know
We'll have our "Gma" cover story and walk over to Jen Ashton because there is a new study about toddlers and screen time and how it may affect their growing young minds so, Dr. Jen, please tell us about it. This study very interesting small study just 47 toddlers but all about structure and function of the brain. So it appeared in the journal jamma pediatrics and took these they did certain types of mris, regular mris, functional mris and a dti showed them video and it was the first study that actually showed a change in the structure of their brain, the white matter which is the part of the brain that sends signals from one side or one part to another. So we don't know the significance of this yet. We don't know whether this is a bad thing or a good thing. But the first time that a study actually showed that watching a screen can produce changes in the structure of the brain. There are some positive uses when it comes to screen time and toddlers. Yeah, absolutely and we don't hear about that that often. But there are some studies that show improvement in motor function, particularly fine motor skills with video games, actually leading to some things that could be good surgical skills so, again, I think the key is moderation and it's not one size fits all. You have to tailor this to the right age group. Right. So the flip side, what are the risks of too much screen time? Listen this, is on the forefront of the American academy of pediatrics and they have new guidelines and basically for babies and toddlers under 18 months they are clear, video chatting only. They want this to be used to communicate with people who can't actually be with the toddler. 18 to 24 months high quality programming and watch it together. Don't park your toddler in front of the screen. Unless it's "Good morning America." Of course. That goes without saying. And then 2 to 5 years old, a maximum of one hour a day. But, again, in the world of psychology, there's a whole area that says we're hearing too much negative with heavy use, yes, but with moderation, it can be good. With everything, moderation. That's correct. Thanks so much. You bet. Michael.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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