Dublin Senator Catherine Noone has called for greater awareness on the impact of screen time on under-2s.
Senator Noone, a Fine Gael candidate for Dublin Bay North, was speaking following the release of a major study in Canada carried out by leading universities, examining the effect of screen time on the developmental process in toddlers.
Senator Noone said: “The warnings from this study echo the concerns of many child development experts.
“The Canadian study highlights the possible impact screen time can have on a child’s development.
“In an ideal world children under the age of 2 would not have any screen time at all, however, increasing numbers of young children and toddlers are using technology regularly.
“According to the START campaign, a child under two years old in Ireland spends on average one hour and 15 mins on screens every day, increasing at weekends.
“This can form habits that will stretch across their childhood and beyond, which can lead to a host of negative effects.”
Senator Noone continued: “We already know that increased screen time can lead to physical inactivity and have a negative impact on diet, however as this is an evolving field of technology and many of the long term effects are yet to be fully understood, I would urge people of all ages to act with moderation with how much screen time such young children get.
“Children are the most vulnerable when it comes to forming bad habits, we should not be naïve to the fact that too much screen time can have damaging effects.”