According to a new study published in the JAMA Paediatrics, too much screen time in children causes them to suffer from poor language and coordination skills. The research linked screen time to developmental delays in children, concluding that parent should limit the time their kids spend in the front of a screen, be it a smartphone, laptop, TV, or whatever.
The researchers reached that conclusion after analyzing and testing more than 2,400 children. The scientists made the kids take a coordination test, among others, to probe how screen time affects children. As a result, those children with poor language, coordination, as well as communication, problem-solving and social skills spent a lot of time in the front of a screen.
“The more screen time these children have, the less likely they are developing their fine motor skills through playing with toys, dressing dolls, doing art and things like that,” said Dr. Dillon Browne, a child psychologist who worked on the study.
Screen Time Linked To Developmental Delays in Children
According to the scientists, children should spend less than two hours in front of a screen, sleep between 9 and 11 hours per day, and be active to develop normally.
“This is the first study to show that increased use of screen time in very young children can be associated with slower development. These results add important weight to existing concerns that too much screen time can prevent young children from having the best start in life, by potentially reducing important opportunities for social interactions, physical activity and other experiences necessary for development,” said Dr. Bernadka Dubicka from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
“Parents should actively encourage their children to engage in a range of activities which promote their child’s development and give them as much face-to-face time as possible. Parents should also be aware of how much time they are spending on their screens in front of their children,” Dr. Dubicka added.