Between the ages of 2 and 6, a third of children eat all of their meals in front of the television. These young children can stay up to 1:20 a day in front of a screen. And the consequences are significant on development: these children lose 3 to 5 IQ points compared to others according to a study by researchers from Inserm and the University of Paris in the journal Scientific Reports.

A difference which is explained by the lack of discussions with their parents, essential in the first years. “Language at this age develops with two-way interactions. Those of the parents towards the child and of the child towards the parents. If it is on, the television can tend to distract the child, firstly, and reduce the exchanges both from the child but also from the parents who can be captivated by what they are watching on television ” explains Jonathan Bernard, epidemiology researcher at INSERM.

Focus on screens as an educational activity

Pediatricians recommend the complete absence of television before the age of 3 years. But after this age, screens do not only have negative effects, they can also have certain positive effects, but certain conditions must be met.

And in particular parental support. “Watching television but also, behind, having a discussion with the child about what he sees, what he has understood, what he has not understood and in fact accompanying him in the process. ‘screen activity can have positive effects ”, argues Jonathan Bernard.