The amount of time young children spend in front of screens as compared to the amount of time they spend playing outside is associated with certain neurodevelopmental outcomes. If you have small children, you probably worry about the amount of time they spend looking at a screen, whether it’s a tablet, phone, computer, or tv. This concern applies to all of these electronic devices. You presumably likely want to know how much time spent in front of screens impacts a child’s development and are undoubtedly curious about whether or not there is anything you can do to mitigate the potential adverse consequences.
A recent study conducted in Japan found that children who spent more time in front of screens before the age of 2 had worse levels of communication and daily life skills when they were 4 years old. However, when children spent equal amounts of time playing outside, the detrimental impacts of screen time were mitigated to some degree.
In the research that is going to be published in March in JAMA Pediatrics, the scientists studied 885 children from the ages of 18 months to 4 years.
They looked at the association between three important factors: the average amount of screen time spent each day at age 2, the quantity of outdoor play at age 2 years and 8 months, and neurodevelopmental outcomes, namely communication, daily living skills, and socializing scores according to a standardized assessment method.
To be more specific, over one-fifth of the impacts of screen time on daily living skills were moderated by outdoor play, which indicates that increasing the amount of time spent playing outside has the potential to minimize the detrimental effects of screen time on daily life skills by almost twenty percent.
The researchers also showed that while improved sociability was not connected to increased screen time, children who had spent more time playing outdoors when they were 2 years and 8 months old had higher socialization skills at the age of 4 years. According to the findings, ensuring that young children get an acceptable amount of screen usage is particularly critical for proper neurodevelopment.