Health Advice



Are you dumbing down your kids with digital devices?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

If you were glued to your screens for the 2018 baseball season, you saw MLB umpires prove they're:

1) Only human.

2) Out of their league (or should be).

3) And what are they, blind!?

Researchers from Boston University did a deep data dive and discovered that umps made 34,294 incorrect ball and strike calls, for an average of 14 per game or 1.6 per inning during those months.

Dumb mistakes like that are upsetting, but dumbing down your kids, that's an even bigger game-changer. It turns out that's what a lot of parents are inadvertently doing by exposing their children to too much screen time too soon.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics looked at brain scans and cognitive tests of 47 kids ages 3 to 5. The researchers found that those who had the most screen time had lower structural integrity of white matter in brain areas that support expressive language and processing speed, imagery, and mental control and self-regulation. Yikes!


The researchers conclude that there should be NO SCREEN TIME for kids 18 months and younger (except for video chats). Kids 18-24 months shouldn't watch screens alone. No parking your kid with your smartphone while you do something else! From 2 to 5, go for one hour a day of quality screen time that you participate in. Designate some screen-free times (for you, too!): all mealtimes, an hour before bed when you read a printed book to your child, and while driving. Direct their attention to what's going on in the world around them.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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