Young Children and Screens
During COVID-19

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

During the pandemic, is it okay to give my one-year old a digital device? In place of Pre-K, should I allow my toddler to play online educational video games? How long should I allow my young child to use digital devices? Parents are struggling to manage screen time while juggling a myriad of responsibilities such as working from home, caring for their young children and meeting other challenges. Our panel of interdisciplinary experts offered ways to make healthy, evidence-based choices that nurture young children’s development and answered questions from the audience.


Meet the Speakers


Dimitri Christakis, M.D., MPH Editor-in-Chief, JAMA Pediatrics; Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute


Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, M.D., MPH is the director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute. He is the author of more than 170 original research articles, a textbook of pediatrics, and co-authored a groundbreaking book, The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work for Your Kids. He has appeared on CNN, NPR, Today, CBS News, ABC News, NBC News and was recently featured as a TEDx speaker. Christakis is a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital in Seattle and a professor in the School of Medicine at University of Washington. He has devoted his career to investigating how early experiences impact children and to helping parents improve their children's early learning environments.


John Hutton, MS, MD, FAAP Attending Pediatrician, Director, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital


Dr. John S. Hutton, MD, MS, is a pediatrician and clinical researcher in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics and Director of the Reading Literacy Discovery Center. His unique reading background includes almost 20 years at the helm of blue manatee children’s bookstore, which in 2019 was converted into Blue Manatee Literacy Project, a 501c3 non-profit providing books and reading experiences to underserved children. He has published 29 children’s books, many with health-promoting themes, including screen time reduction (Baby Unplugged), dialogic reading, reading to babies, infant calming, safe sleep, breastfeeding, ADHD and how the heart works. His books have been adopted in statewide public health campaigns and distributed to millions of families, proceeds benefiting non-profit advocacy groups.


Brandon McDaniel, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Health Services & Informatics Research, Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation


Dr. Brandon McDaniel, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the Parkview Research Center. He has a strong background in the study of family relationships and extensive teaching, research, stats, and methodology experience, which he utilizes to improve the well-being of individuals and families. He accomplishes this through his own research and collaborative research with physicians, clinicians, university faculty, and others, as well as through developing and implementing community programs/interventions.


Ellen Wartella, Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies; Professor of Psychology; Director of the Center on Media and Human Development, Northwestern University


Dr. Ellen Wartella, Ph.D., researches the effects of media and technology on children and adolescents, and the impact of food marketing in the childhood obesity crisis. She is the Sheik Hamad bin Kalifa Al-thani Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. She holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Psychology, Department of Human Development and Social Policy and Department of Medical Social Sciences. The author or editor of 12 books and approximately 200 book chapters, research articles, technical reports and research papers, Wartella is currently co-principal Investigator on a 5-year multi-site research project entitled: “Collaborative Research: Using Educational DVDs to Enhance Young Children’s STEM Education (2014-2019) from the National Science Foundation.

Watch the Webinar

Thanks to the Children and Screens team members
who put together this workshop!