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Canadian parents concerned about their kids’ screen time: survey

Parents are concerned about their children spending too much time on digital devices, a new study says.
Parents are concerned about their children spending too much time on digital devices, a new study says. File Photo / Getty Images

Half of Canadian parents think their kids are spending too much time on digital devices, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute.

The study says 87 per cent of parents with children between two and 12 said their child spends at least an hour a day on a device – with most spending considerably more time than that.

Despite the majority of parents saying devices can have educational benefits for young kids, 46 per cent are concerned about their child’s screen time.

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READ MORE: New research links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

A large amount of that time is spent gaming – primarily among boys, who are almost twice as likely as girls to use their devices for playing games without any educational elements.

Forty-nine per cent of pre-teen boys frequently use their devices for gaming, the survey said, while pre-teen girls are more likely to spend their screen time on social interaction and communication with friends.

According to the study, parents of children who spend less than an hour a day using their devices said their kids excelled in areas from physical fitness and mental health to sociability and academic performance.

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Sixty-eight per cent of parents whose children have limited screen time said their kids are high achievers in reading ability, compared with only 44 per cent of parents whose kids spend four hours or more on a device each day.

WATCH: How digital devices affect the development of children

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How digital devices affect the development of children – Nov 6, 2017