Experts say they’re seeing more ADHD behavior in kids because of screen time exposure

All the screen time with virtual learning is leading to something parents will need to watch out for.

Before the pandemic started, it’s estimated that children ages eight to 15 spent between six and seven hours in front a screen each day.

Channel 2 anchor Wendy Corona spoke with a doctor who says screen time is the root of a problem he’s seeing more of with his younger patients.

“We’re seeing a significantly increased behavior in terms of what we would consider ADHD, or tick behavior,” ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Shawn Nasseri said. “It’s been at least 100 kids in the last few months.”

Nasseri said these behavioral ticks are the body working to self-soothe from hours of hyper focus in front of a screen and a lack of socialization.

“A lot of more throat clearing, nose sniffling, head ticking,” he said.


But even with so many students in virtual learning, there are ways to combat this at home.

“Breaking up the screen time day. Getting them up. Walking them around the room every 15 to 20 minutes especially for children, K through 2nd and 3rd grade makes a tremendous difference,” Nasseri said.

Nasseri encourages the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from the screen and focus on something 10 to 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This also helps with myopia or nearsightedness.

He also encourages the power of positivity.

“They feed on our stress, our negative energy, so we have to give them as much positivity as possible because they look to us for all those things,” Nasseri said.

The doctor also suggests that parents take a look at a child’s diet. Stimulants like sugar and caffeine are also things to consider scaling back along with screen time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also says parents should make sure their kids get enough sleep and exercise. They recommend kids six and older get at least an hour of physical activity every day.

Parents should also encourage children to try and blink extra while taking breaks to help with dry eyes.