Giving your child extra time on the iPad for good behaviour may not be the best idea according to a new University of Guelph study.

Researchers found children, whose parents dole out screen time as a reward or revoke it as punishment, spend more time on a smartphone, tablet, computer or in front of the television than children whose parents don’t.

“It’s similar to how we shouldn’t use sugary treats as rewards because by doing so we can heighten the attraction to them,” said family relations and applied nutrition professor Jess Haines, who worked on the study with Lisa Tang. “When you give food as a reward it makes children like the carrot less and the cake more. Same thing with screen time.”

Social media firms could be banned if they fail to remove harmful content, the health secretary has warned.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Matt Hancock said: “If we think they need to do things they are refusing to do, then we can and we must legislate.”

But he said it would be better to work jointly with social media companies.

The minister earlier called on social media giants to “purge” material promoting self-harm and suicide in the wake of links to a teenager’s suicide.

Asked if social media could be banned, Mr Hancock said: “Ultimately parliament does have that sanction, yes” but added: “it’s not where I’d like to end up.”

Among toddlers, spending a lot of time staring at screens is linked with poorer performance on developmental screening tests later in childhood, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, found a direct association between screen time at ages 2 and 3 and development at 3 and 5.Development includes growth in communication, motor skills, problem-solving and personal social skills, based on a screening tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Signs of such development can be seen in behaviors like being able to stack a small block or toy on top of another one.

A nine-year-old boy in central China tugged at the heartstrings of many when his cry for attention from his phone addict father in a school essay went viral on social media last week.

The essay was posted on Jan 17 on China’s microblogging platform Weibo by his teacher at Luoyang International School in Henan province’s Luoyang city, Dahe Daily reported.

In the essay titled “Father, I want to tell you this”, the child who was referred to as Xiaozhi by Chinese media described how his father was glued to his cellphone “day and night and every day” as though he could not live without it.

Singapore has released a framework on how artificial intelligence (AI) can be ethically and responsibly used, which businesses in the Republic and elsewhere can adopt as they grapple with issues that have emerged with new technology.

This model framework for AI governance is a “living document” intended to evolve along with the fast-paced changes in a digital economy.

The framework is the first in Asia to provide detailed and readily implementable guidance to private sector organisations using AI, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Essilor looks to establish a recommended protocol for treating and managing myopia by partnering with 14 ODs on a task force.

The company announced its Myopia Initiative in Action (MIA) at its national sales meeting in early January.

“The rate at which the prevalence of myopia is increasing is staggering,” says Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America.

“True to our mission of improving lives by improving sight,” she says, “we are bringing together some of the industry’s top eyecare professionals with diverse areas of myopia interest and expertise to address this problem together through new research and open collaboration.”

All those interactive digital toys and mobile apps designed for little kids are exactly the type of gifts parents should take off their holiday shopping lists, US pediatricians say.

That’s because just like parking kids in front of the television, giving them tablets and smartphones to play games or handing them digitally enhanced toys gets in the way of creative play and interactions with caregivers that are essential for child development, according to a clinical report released on Monday (Dec 3) by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The eyesight of Japan’s students is deteriorating and the country’s government thinks smartphones are to blame. A recent survey conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology found that the number of students with vision below the standard 1.0 score (equivalent to 20/20 vision) is at an all-time high of 25.3 percent. Worse still, just over 67 percent of high school students and more than 34 percent of elementary students didn’t meet the bar. The government is attributing the trend to “increased time spent staring at [smartphone] screens…and mobile games.”

A first-of-its-kind study from the National Institutes of Health is analyzing how screen time affects children’s brains, CBS News reported. Over the next decade, the study will follow more than 11,000 children, who are currently 9 to 10 years old, as they grow up around screens.

“We’ll be able to see not only how much time are they spending, how they perceive it impacting them, but also what are some of the outcomes,” Gaya Dowling, one of the study’s authors, said in an interview with “60 Minutes.” “And that will get at the question of whether there’s addiction or not.”

Google and Levi’s Jacquard smart jacket has introduced a new function designed to stop you from mistakenly leaving your phone behind, as spotted by Android Police.

The feature, called Always Together, is an automatic alert that will go off if the jacket moves too far away from your phone. When triggered, notifications happen on both ends. So, your phone will get a notification, and the jacket’s signature sleeve tag will also blink and vibrate. Previously, Android Police notes, there was a manual “find your phone” option where an assigned gesture on the jacket could prompt your phone to ring at full volume.