Most parents know our kids are spending too much time on their devices.  Here’s some information for you to digest. Screen time includes the television, iPads, tablets, computers, smartphones, and video games.  It does not matter if the screen time is used for entertainment or education. Over the years there has been an increasing concern on how screen time affects children’s social and cognitive skills especially in speech and language development. A study from the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada followed 900 children between the ages of 6 months and two years. They found that the toddlers who were exposed to more handheld screen time were more likely to develop expressive language delays. In those children that were exposed to 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of delayed expressive language skills. Another study, that surveyed over 1000 parents of children under the age of two, found that toddlers who watch more videos said fewer words. For each additional 30-minute increase in handheld screen time, 8 to 16 month old infants watched in a day, they said an average of six to eight fewer words! Children learn to talk and communicate through the interaction of other people, and during these early years is when the brain is the most receptive to learning new language. Another study, by Chonchaiya and Pruksananonda found that children who began watching television before 12 months and who watch more than 2 hours per day were 6 times more likely to have language delays. This could mean the child could be a late talker and/or could have problems later with language in school. The American Academy of Pediatrics and Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that: Infants and toddlers (under 2 years) should have no screen time and children 2-5 years should be limited to less than one hour per day.

What can we do for our children instead of screen time? There are many alternatives that can help your child’s development and to increase their speech and language skills.

  • Talk with your child. If the child is only able to provide one word responses, try to ask more specific questions (like, what did you have for snack?”) instead of open ended questions (like, “how was your day?”)
  • Sing songs
  • Read books/go to the library
  • Play with your child’s favorite toy
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Play outside and explore nature
  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a car ride and talk about what you see
  • Play board games
  • Visit friends or visit grandparents

Parents don’t need to completely stay away from screen time for children over the age of 2. There are a lot of age appropriate apps for all ages. However, for children who haven’t developed language, screen time can be too overwhelming for their brain. Children need to personally interact with others in play and receive positive reinforcement. During this time of social distancing and decreased interaction with others, it’s great if you and your child can use FaceTime or Skype to interact with family members so they can see their expression and interact with them. This is a positive experience for all! For more information or if you would like to bring your child in for a free 15 minute screening with a therapist, just give us a call.


FYZICAL Pediatric & Neurological Clinic
4614 S. 132nd St
Omaha NE 68137
402-330-3211 Ext. 172


John Keim, Clinic Director
Speech Language Pathologist

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“When I first started at Fyzical I was recovering from fractured tibia. I was using a walker after having been in a wheelchair for about 3 months. I was able to graduate to a cane and now an able to go without the cane around the house or short distances. I only use the cane when walking longer distances. The staff at Fyzical are all very caring and professional. They are friendly and encouraging."

— Diane B.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“I had rotator cuff surgery in the spring. Following that surgery my shoulder was very weak and I was unable to move it without pain. I began me therapy with Fyzical and was amazed at how quickly my quality of movement improved with their help. I am now able to move with almost complete range of movement and have most of my strength back. I honestly believe I could not have attained this in less than 6 months with the staff at Fyzical."

— Nancy B.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“I had a great care and a great outcome at Fyzical. The staff was kind and knowledgeable. They worked with my very busy schedule and I discharged from their care feeling great!"

— Tracy L.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“When I first went to therapy my foot hurt so bad I could barely walk on it. This limited the things I could so and made my job at work difficult to do. After six weeks of therapy I am able to walk with little to no pain. Thank to Everyone at Fyzical."

— James M.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“After knee replacement I was in quite a bit of pain. PT was tough to start with but after a week or started to see a change. Along with at home exercising I now feel like I am able to exercise on my own. Surgery was 6 week ago."

— Mark K

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“I highly recommend Krysta @ FYZICAL. After my surgery I thought I would go to PT a couple times & figure out what I could do at home to get back to normal. I was wrong. Krysta helped me to get my range of motion back and helped my big scar disappear. It was easy to schedule appointments. "

— Amy J.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“When I came to Fyzical I had a lot of pain on my back. They work on my back and got me on the right track to get me healthy again. I recommend this place to anyone who has an issue that needs physical therapy. Thank again!"

— Alemenesh M.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“Since starting therapy I am sleeping better, less headaches and an overwhelming feeling of energy again. I was going through a depression due to headaches and neck pain. When I first started my therapy at Fyzical, with Amy’s help I finally understand what was the cause of the headaches. The entire staff were so helpful and patient with me. I would recommend Fyzical to my friends needing physical therapy."

— Judy K

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“I am a 15 year old football, basketball, and track player at the Millard West who hurt my knee and over the last couple months therapy here has gone super will and the people here are super nice!"

— Joe B.

What Our Clients Are Saying!

“Initially I came in basically unable to walk. I could not put any weight on my left leg at all. After approximately 7-8 visits I was back to playing basketball. The staff was nice and friendly. They were absolutely amazing."

— Christian S

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