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  • Writer's pictureChristine Poulos, MD

A, B, Cs and Addiction - Our children's new childhood!

Updated: May 12, 2019

Why does you child scream when you take the phone out of her hands? She's only 2 years old!!

Electronic Addiction

Electronics and Addiction in Toddlers

Yes, your toddler can have an addiction! Apps on phones, children’s programs uploaded to YouTube, or shows streaming on your phone are all highly addictive to young developing brains.

Studies show that electronics purposely stimulate parts of the brain that cause pleasure. Therefore, people want to keep watching it repeatedly because of the pleasure it brings them. However, when that stimulation is taken away, the brain reacts in an addictive manner with withdrawal.

It’s simple to know when your child is addicted to electronics – when they start crying and have a temper tantrum when you take the phone, tablet, or any other electronic device away from them. That’s when you know that the electronic device is creating an emotional reaction in your child.

The best way to treat this is to completely DETOX your child by avoiding ALL contact with electronic devices. The AAP recommends NO electronics or TV for children under 2 years old. Children over 2 years old should have no more than 2 hours of screen time/day.

When you’re out with your child, try to pack books, crayons, coloring activities in your bag to occupy them. Try not to give your child the phone as difficult as it may be! They will never miss it if they don’t know about it in the first place!

With Love,

Dr. Christine

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