"The main contributing factor is the rise of technology, and children are spending a good amount of time behind screens instead of outdoors playing or indoors just moving around," Samuels said. "Another thing that ties into this is that it's really important for children to be active learners, not passive learners, and a lot of this screen time is really not an active way of engaging in their own education."
But, given the potential pitfalls, media use still offers many "wonderful benefits" to children, Samuels added, though it shouldn't encroach on one-on-one parenting time.
"It's much more difficult for parents to find the quiet moments to pass on life lessons and share quality time with their kids," she said. "Everywhere they turn, there's a tablet, a computer, an iPhone or a handheld device luring them away from what used to be the main arena where children would learn lessons in the family home."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers more on children and screen time.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.