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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

Chapter 13: The Use of Technology and Media in Early Childhood​

Chapter Objectives

At the conclusion of the chapter, students will be able to

  1. List the advantages and disadvantages of the use of digital gadgets by young children.
  2. Describe the health implication of too much screen time in young children.
  3. Describe the negative effects of screen time on children’s social-emotional and cognitive development. 
  4. Explain the importance of real-life experiences and face-to-face interactions to the overall development of young children.
  5. Demonstrate Knowledge and provide examples of   how and when to limit children’s tech use. 


A large body of research makes it abundantly clear that infants, toddlers, and young children learn best through the use of all of their senses and interactions with the people in their environment. Real world, hands-on activities support children’s creative play where-as screen-time eliminates creativity. In early childhood, the developing brain benefits the most when children are talked to, read to, and played with. Young children thrive when they provided with opportunities to interact and engage meaningfully with the adults and peers in their physical and social environments.
On the other hand, excessive exposure of children to electronic devices, especially digital screens, is harmful to their overall development. As children become more and more preoccupied with electronic devices; real life relationship is replaced by virtual interaction; physical plays become digital games. Unbridled exposure to digital screens may lead to delayed physical and cognitive development; obsession with the use of digital devices leading to more attachment to gadgets than parents or peers thereby restraining social relationships; reduced attention and distracted focus leading to challenges in learning; and  isolation leading to social and emotional health issues; and excessive on screen time and restricted physical activity leading to overeating and  increased risk of obesity.

Chapter Review and Discussion Questions


Chapter Review

  1. Define the terms interactive media, non-interactive media, and digital citizenship.
  2. Describe specific recommendations to parents for children’s media use for infants, toddlers, and young children. 
  3. Define the terms interactive media, non-interactive media, and digital citizenship.
  4. List the warning signs of unhealthy tech use in the young child. 
  5. Describe how you would monitor a child’s use of technology at every age.

Group Discussion

Discuss the pros and cons of the use of technology in a child’s development and education 
Discuss the role of parents and teachers in the prevention of excessive and/or inappropriate use of interactive media.