More than four hours of screen time a day in one-year-old kids has been linked to developmental delays, according to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics. The research found that kids exposed to more screen time than their peers experienced developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills. This cohort study, conducted under the Tohoku Medical Megabank Project Birth and Three-Generation Cohort Study, included 7097 mother-child pairs.
The study observed a dose-response association between greater screen time at age one year and developmental delays in communication and problem-solving at ages two and four. To elaborate, they measured how many hours children used screens per day at age one and how they performed in several developmental domains at ages two and four, including communication skills, fine motor skills, personal and social skills, and problem-solving skills. Both were according to the mothers’ self-reports.
By age 2, babies with four or more hours of screen time per day were up to three times more likely to experience developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills. The study revealed these babies were 4.78 times more likely to have underdeveloped communication skills, 1.74 times more likely to have subpar fine motor skills, and two times more likely to have underdeveloped personal and social skills. Meanwhile, by age 4, these delays appeared to disappear.
The findings also show babies exposed to higher levels of screen time were found to be the children of first-time mothers who were younger and with lower incomes and household education levels, and those suffering from postpartum depression. Only 4 per cent of babies were exposed to screens for four or more hours a day, while 18 per cent had two to less than four hours of screen time a day, and a majority had less than two hours.
The study did not find that screen time caused developmental delays. Moreover, it found an association between babies experiencing more screen time and delays in their development.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com