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Study links high levels of screen time to slower child development

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theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/



Study links high levels of screen time to slower child development
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/28/study-links-high-levels-of-screen-time-to-slower-child-development





'A study has linked high levels of screen time with delayed development in children, reigniting the row over the extent to which parents should limit how long their offspring spend with electronic devices.

Researchers in Canada say children who spent more time with screens at two years of age did worse on tests of development at age three than children who had spent little time with devices. A similar result was found when children’s screen time at three years old was compared with their development at five years. “What is new in this study is that we are studying really young children, so aged 2-5, when brain development is really rapidly progressing and also child development is unfolding so rapidly,” Dr Sheri Madigan, first author of the study from the University of Calgary, told the Guardian. “We are getting at these lasting effects,” she added of the study.

The authors say parents should be cautious about how long children are allowed to spend with devices.

“Excessive screen time can impinge on children’s ability to develop optimally,” they write. “It is recommended that paediatricians and healthcare practitioners guide parents on appropriate amounts of screen exposure and discuss potential consequences of excessive screen use.”

But the results have been contested by others in the field who say the study did not take into account what the children were using the screens for, and that the influence of screens had a smaller effect than other factors such as family income, the child’s sleep and whether they were read to.'



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