Researching the Impacts of 'Screen Time'

A new study is probing the effects of prolonged screen time on young minds.

Project Literacy Kelowna has partnered with UBCO to examine 300 local families with kids between the ages of two and five.

"It's the first study of its kind in Canada, and it's focused on families in the Okanagan." said Project Literacy's Executive Director Paul Zuurbier.

Families in the Okanagan Valley are invited to complete a short survey detailing their habits around screen time. 

Participants will also download an app to their smart devices, allowing UBCO researchers to collect basic usage data.

"We're hoping to create a more healthier awareness around screen time" 

According to Project Literacy, the average child between the ages of three and five spends at least two hours on screens every day.

That number has grown significantly over the last few years.

"With so much use of screen time...we became concerned about what is the impact that is having on education and learning patterns?"

It's a question the research project aims to answer.

Zuurbier hopes the study will identify both healthy and unhealthy patterns of screen time for children. The information will, in turn, be used to educate parents.