Additional Research Links Toddlers’ Screen Time to Developmental Delays

September 04, 2023

More Screen Time at 1 Year Associated with Communication and Problem-Solving Delays at Ages 2 and 4

A  Japanese study of more than 7,000 children has found an association between screen time and developmental outcomes in young children. This new research discovered that longer screen time viewing at a year old was associated with developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills at ages 2 and 4. Furthermore, the authors found that screen time (e.g., viewing television, video games, computers, tablets, or mobile phones) for more than four hours per day was significantly related to developmental delays. The study showed that 1-year-olds who spent up to two hours a day in front of screens were 61% more likely to have communication developmental delays, rising to fivefold for those with more than four hours of screen time at ages 2 and 4. Meanwhile, four or more hours a day of screen time was linked to a 74% higher risk of developmental delay in fine motor skills at these later ages. However, the association between screen time and developmental delay was domain-specific and unrelated to all developmental domains. The study also points out that screen time may be beneficial and educational, depending on the programs watched on electronic devices. The authors suggest that it may be helpful to identify and limit the screen time aspects associated with developmental delays while taking advantage of the educational elements screens can provide. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children ages 2 to 5 have no more than one hour of screen time daily.

Original Article

Original Study

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