One-year-olds who were screened for more than four hours a day experienced developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills at ages 2 and 4, according to a study published today. The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics,
The research also found that 1-year-olds who were exposed to more screen time than their peers showed delays in the development of fine motor and personal and social skills at age 2. But these delays appeared to end by age 4.
The study did not find that screen time caused developmental delays, but rather, found an association between babies exposed to more screen time and their developmental delays. Experts said this pattern may well be explained by the importance of face-to-face time for young children.
why it matters
A developmental psychologist at the Yale Child Study Center, David J. Levkowicz said face-to-face interactions between parent and child are important in giving children a rich set of information about facial expressions, words, intonation of voice and how. Together physical feedback conveys language and meaning.
“It doesn’t happen when you’re watching the screen,” he said. He said he is not surprised by the results of the research.
The findings, made by scholars in Japan, were drawn from questionnaires about development and screen time that were given to parents of nearly 8,000 young children. In general, babies of first-time mothers exposed to higher levels of screen time were found to be younger, have lower household income and education levels, and were more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Were. (Only 4 percent of infants were reported to be exposed to screens for four or more hours a day, while 18 percent got less than two to four hours of screen time a day and most got less than two hours. )
The study noted a “dose-response relationship” between screen time and developmental delay: the more screen time infants were given, the more likely they were to show developmental delay.
what will happen next
The study authors noted that the research did not distinguish between screen time with educational purposes and screen time more focused on entertainment. That angle should be explored in future studies, the researchers said.
Dr. Levkowicz said that parents regularly ask him how much screen time is okay. His answer: “Talk to your child as much as possible, face-to-face as often as possible,” he said.
Asking parents to stop their children from spending time on screens was impractical, he said: “No parent will listen to this. It just has to be moderate. With a heavy dose of real life social interaction.