New Research Shows Increased Screen Time in Infants and Young Children Can Lead to Developmental Delays
New research published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that prolonged screen time in infants and young children can have detrimental effects on their development. The study found that those who spent more time in front of screens had a higher risk of experiencing developmental delays in communication, problem-solving, and social skills.
The study, which included 7,097 children and their parents in Japan, examined the screen time habits of 1-year-old infants and later assessed their development at ages 2 and 4. The results showed a clear correlation between excessive screen time and developmental delays.
Children who spent four or more hours per day with screens were almost twice as likely to experience communication and problem-solving delays by age 2 compared to those who spent less time in front of screens. Furthermore, those with four or more hours of screen time daily were almost five times more likely to have communication delays and almost three times more likely to have problem-solving delays at age 2.
The negative impact of high screen time extended to other areas of development as well. Children with excessive screen time were up to twice as likely to have delays in fine motor skills and personal and social skills at age 2. However, by age 4, the increased risk of delays was only evident in communication and problem-solving skills.
The study highlights the importance of adhering to screen time guidelines and recommendations for infants and young children. It serves as a reminder that excessive screen time can have lasting consequences on a child’s development.
It is worth noting that while this study sheds light on the negative effects of increased screen time, other factors can also influence a child’s development, including genetics, negative experiences, and socioeconomic factors.
The research, however, does not provide specifics on the type of screen time or whether parents watched the content with their child. Some studies suggest that not all types of screen time have the same effect on a child’s development, emphasizing the need for further research in this area.
In conclusion, this study highlights the potential harms of excessive screen time on the development of infants and young children. Following screen time guidelines and recommendations is essential for ensuring the healthy development of our children.