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Screen time negatively affects the development of small children

Sheri Madigan

Results of a longitudinal cohort study published in the year. T. JAMA Pediatrics shows that there is a direct link between screen time and worse developmental results in children aged 18 to 60 months.

AAP currently recommends a screen time for children between the ages of 18 and 24 months, except for video chats, and a maximum of 1 hour for a high-quality programming day for children aged 2 to 5 years.

"Although it is possible that screen time is interfering with learning and growth opportunities, it is possible that children will be given more time to help change challenging behavior," Sheri Madigan, PhD Professor and colleague of the Department of Psychology at Calgary University wrote. "Greater clarity about the progress of associations can be informative for pediatricians and other healthcare professionals who want to guide parents on appropriate screen exposure, as well as the potential consequences of excessive screen time."

The study by Madigan and colleagues included 2,441 mothers and children based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who participated in the All Our Families study, a major potential cohort of pregnancy. The mothers reported the total number of hours the child spent on viewing screens each week, as well as the development results listed in the age and stage questionnaire in the third edition. All data were obtained when the children were between 24, 36 and 60 months of age.

After 24 months, mothers reported an average weekly screen time of 17.09 hours per week. Screen time increased by 36 months (mean = 24.99 hours) and decreased by 60 months (mean = 10.5 hours).

Researchers said that children who had more screen time between 24 and 36 months had lower rates of development screening tests at more than 36 months of age (beta = -0.08, 95% CI, -0.13 to -0.02). ). These children were also worse than the development screening tests at 60 months of age (beta = -0.06, 95% CI, -0.13 to -0.02).

Madigan and colleagues analyzed whether the poor development result increased the screen time, but found it was not.

Researchers suggested that pediatricians and other healthcare providers should consult families to develop a personalized media plan.

"Plans provide guidance on how to define and implement rules and limits for media usage based on your child's age, how to build free zones and device hosts, and to balance and allocate time to online and offline activities to ensure that physical priority is activity and family interaction, ”wrote Madigan and colleagues. – by Katherine Bortz

Disclosure: Authors do not provide relevant financial information.

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