Saturday , April 17 2021

A new study suggests that screen time could slow communication of children, the engine and problem-solving skills



  • A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics analyzed the effects of screen time on young children and found an association between screen exposure to children and their development.

  • The researchers followed 2,441 infants over a period of five years and found that those who used screens more often at 2 and 3 ages worsened in development screening tests between the ages of 3 and 5, Dr. Sheri Madigan, lead researcher at the studio, told INSIDER.

  • While other factors, such as socioeconomic status, can also contribute to the development problems of a child, Madigan said that the time of the screen is the one that can be adjusted more easily to obtain better health outcomes .

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers guidelines on the frequency with which young children have to use the screens.


As children increase in a digital world, researchers, doctors and parents are more concerned about how screens can affect children's health. The latest studies about screen time and its effects on children have resulted in conflicting results, some suggestive that the screens have an insignificant impact and others that find too much time on the screen can be harmful.

A new long-term study published in JAMA Pediatrics studied these effects further and found an association between excessive screen time and developmental delays in young children.

Screen time can prevent the child's early development

The study, which followed 2,441 children of their time at the age of 5 years, analyzed how different amounts of screen time affected the overall development of children. At 2, 3, and 5 ages, the researchers conducted surveys to find out how many children on the screen had one day and the types of screens they used.

The researchers analyzed this information along with the data on the development of each child, including the progression of motor skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills. The facts, such as putting words at the age of 2 years and creating sentences of four or five words at 5 years, were considered indicators of the evolutionary progress of the child, he told INSIDER Dr. Sheri Madigan, lead author of the study.


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At the end of the five-year study, researchers found that for children 2, 3 and 5 years, the average amount of time on the weekly screen was 17.1, 25, and 10.9 hours, respectively. The children who were exposed to more screen time demonstrated having slowed their skills development during what is considered a "critical period of growth and maturation," authors of the study wrote.

Although researchers could not identify a specific amount of screen time that could lead to developmental delays, they found that children who used screens most often had development milestones later than their peers. This can often affect future development events, Madigan explained.

"If a child needs to run, they must first walk," INSIDER said. "This happens in sequential order, so if you do not master the first skill, it will be harder to get them and get the domain."

The screens are not the only factor that affects the development of children, but their role should not be ignored.

Madigan and his team recognized that other factors, such as socioeconomic status, can also contribute to childhood development problems, and may explain the contradictory results of other screen time studies.

A 2018 study in the Journal of Cognition and Development, for example, found that children with low-level socio-economic parents scored lower on cognitive development tests.

Although the Madigan team has isolated the time of the screen in their experiment, they understand that economic barriers, lack of physical activity and poor sleep habits can also contribute to developmental development delays, # 39; a child

"The associations we have found [between screen time and development] They are what we consider to be small and we are not saying that the time of the screen is the only factor, "Madigan said.

Excessive screen time, however, is a factor that can be solved more easily, according to Madigan, so that reducing its potential effects can better inform parents about ways to keep healthy and healthy bodies .

"It is quite difficult to change someone's income, but we can change the screens more easily or, at least, use them in moderation," he explained.

Existing guidelines can help parents determine how much screen time is acceptable for their children

For parents who care about their children's screen habits and the resulting effects, Madigan saidThere is still time to activate things.

"Take parents sitting and decide how family they will use the screens in moderation," said Madigan. "There are always points throughout the path where the change can be made and with these changes you will see subsequent changes in development."

Madigan suggested parents use the current guidelines on the screening of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to get their family going on the right track. The most recent screen time recommendations in the AAP include limiting it to one hour per day for people from 2 to 5 years old and set individual screen time limits for children 6 years of age or older. In addition, AAP recommends children 18 months and younger only use screens to make video chats as needed.

Regarding future investigations, Madigan intends to determine the "turning point" or the exact amount of screen time necessary to create significant delays in development, in an important next step.


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