Smartphones won’t make your kids dumb. We think. – 1.12.18 – The Memo. Under-threes, in particular, need a balance of activities, including instructed play, exploring the natural environment, manipulating physical toys and socializing with other children and grown-ups. The rise in screen use means less of all of these things. “Parents need to think strategically,” says pediatrician Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “If your child has 12 hours awake and two of those are spent eating, how will you allocate the rest of the time?”
Parenting with a wired child: How technology affects our kids – 2.1.18 – Angelus. Dr. Dimitri Christakis and his team at Seattle Children’s Hospital have looked at the way attention is affected by television, and they’ve concluded that the effects in entertainment (as opposed to educational) television can have a real impact on kids’ attention spans later on.
A new study eases fears of a link between autism and prenatal ultrasounds – 2.21.18 - Science News. Some researchers have wondered if the rising rates of autism diagnoses could have anything to do with the increasing number of ultrasound scans that women receive during pregnancy. The answer is no, suggests a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. On average, children with autism were exposed to fewer ultrasounds during pregnancy, scientists found. The results suggest that on their own, ultrasounds don’t cause autism spectrum disorder, says Dr. Sara Webb of Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the UW, who co-wrote a JAMA Pediatrics companion piece. “At this time, there is no evidence that ultrasound is a primary contributor to poor developmental outcomes when delivered within medical guidelines,” she said.
Protecting kids from television violence – 4.3.18 - Metro Parent. Media restrictions and limits are important ways parents can help protect kids, says Dr. Michelle Garrison, a researcher with Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “Reducing the amount of exposure to media violence definitely matters,” she says. “We see larger effects with each additional hour of violent media.”