Screentime can challenge children’s sensory growth

Maryland

"We make everyday household activities opportunities for our kids to grow."

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — From the beginning of birth to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to understand the world around them.

“My advice I guess ultimately is experiment,” said MOM’s Club Administrative VP Adrienne Borgman. “Figure out what works, you know pull in textures, sounds, patterns and make it work.”

Martinsburg’s MOM’s club is actively exploring new activities to always get the kids engaged. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sensory learning allows them to complete more complex tasks and encourages cognitive growth, language development and gross motor skills.

“Ultimately, as long as you keep the sensory input down, they might be open to it, it really depends on the kid,” said Borgman.

Sensory learning can also be learned through physical activities. Hagerstown’s Pediatric Movement Center keeps kids active for a number of reasons, but mostly it gives a child an opportunity to use all their senses at once.

“Allowing children to perform or play with all their sensory systems enhances their neuro connections and it allows them to develop the neuro pathways to perform more complex activities and motor planning,” said Director Operations Pediatric Movement Center Courtney Young.

Some children might be hyper or hyposensitive, meaning the senses may be overwhelming to the kids or they will actually look for more sensory stimulation. Parents should be aware that when kids sit in front of screens, it can provide sensory challenges.

“I worry that children aren’t having as many opportunities to play as much as I did when I was a child,” said Young. We stress that children need to play as much as possible throughout the day.”

Both organizations agrees, getting children active mentally and physically is the key to healthy sensory growth.

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