A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Too Much Screen Time Affects Development for Years

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—In 2014, children under age two spent more than three hours a day in front of screens, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for this age group other than video chatting. Now a new study finds screen time early in life can affect a child’s development years later.

From tablets…to phones…to TVs. Young children today are very familiar with screens. But a new study finds high levels of screen time may lead to developmental delays. Scientists looked at 2,441 moms and their children. They found more screen use like tablets, television, and computers at two years of age predicted poorer development at three years old. Also, more screen use at age three predicted poorer development at five years of age. Across the board, these kids missed developmental milestones, with delays seen in motor skills, communication, problem-solving, and personal social skills. Scientists say parents should be mindful about screen time use. Set limits when necessary and focus more on face-to-face communication.

Interestingly, the researchers did not find a converse relationship between screen time and developmental delays, meaning earlier developmental delays did not predict later screen time use.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

(Sources: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2019/02/how-screen-time-affects-kids-development.html?page=all, https://www.childandfamilyblog.com/early-childhood-development/screen-time/)

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