Study links screen time to slower child development

Study links excessive screen time to developmental delays in children

Study links high levels of screen time to slower child development

"It is recommended that paediatricians and healthcare practitioners guide parents on appropriate amounts of screen exposure and discuss potential consequences of excessive screen use".

Further, Madigan says, because their days are consumed with screen time, children aren't getting enough physical activity, which means they aren't developing the motor skills they need to run, ride a bike, or throw a ball. Screen Time And Child Development The researchers said a clear trend emerged. As a result, those children with poor language, coordination, as well as communication, problem-solving and social skills spent a lot of time in the front of a screen.

A new study argues that's precisely the case - screen time can affect how well children perform on developmental tests.

"It's creating some disparities in terms of children's development, where the kids who are watching screens are having some compromised development, whereas we're not seeing that with kids who have a low amount of screen time viewing", Madigan said in an interview. The Canadian Pediatrics Society's recommended pediatric guideline recommends no more than 1 hour of screen time per day.

Although previous research demonstrated a link between screen time and poor academic performance, new research confirms long-term adverse effects.

The scientists added: "When young children are observing screens, they may be missing important opportunities to practice and master interpersonal, motor and communication skills".

"Quality screen time is possible, but we need to take a look at what our kids are doing with the devices", Dr. Alex Dimitriu, board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in California, told Healthline.

Not all screen time is detrimental, she says, and her study did not delve into the quality of programming the children were watching.

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Part of the problem is that toddlers' brains aren't developed enough to apply things they learn from two-dimensional screens to what they experience in three-dimensional life, Madigan said by email.

Dr. Madigan and her team examined data from a long-running project called the All Our Families study, which has been tracking thousands of Calgary mothers and their children, starting from pregnancy, since 2008.

Most mothers were white (77.8%), married (82%), and had household incomes over $80,000 (66%), while slightly less than half of the children in the study were boys (47.9%).

And there are other issues.

Dr Max Davie, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health agreed other factors had a larger impact on how children fared.

"Most of the research on children and screens has been cross-sectional, meaning that associations are based on a particular snapshot in time and don't reveal if there are lasting influences of screen time on children's outcomes", Madigan said.

"In fact the data shows that the association with screen time is weaker than that between developmental outcomes and good sleep, reading to the child, and maternal positivity", he said. Moderation is the key and screen time spent with others rather than alone, they explain.

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