The time spent by young children in front of screens has been linked to developmental delays, according to a study conducted by researchers from Tohoku University and Hamamatsu University, with the results published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal.
The study involved 7,097 mothers with children, half of whom were boys and half were girls. These mothers were surveyed about the amount of time their children spent in front of screens, including watching television, playing video games, using tablets, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. Approximately half of the participants (48.5%) reported that their children spent less than one hour per day in front of screens, 29.5% reported one to two hours, 17.9% reported two to four hours, and 4.1% reported more than four hours per day.
The development of children between the ages of two and four was assessed based on their communication skills, overall motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, as well as personal and social skills.
The findings revealed that for two-year-old children, an increase in screen time at the age of one was associated with developmental delays in all areas except for overall motor skills. However, for four-year-old children, an increase in screen time at the age of one was only linked to delays in communication and problem-solving abilities.
In June, researchers from the University of York and the University of Cambridge found that children who begin reading for pleasure at a young age perform better on cognitive tests and have stronger mental health in the future.