Screen time in early childhood

Screens are now an integral part of children’s daily lives. Children’s screen time is increasing and screen engagement is starting earlier in life.
The time of a view on the screen.

Arch Say Child. 2017; 97: 935-942

These trends raise concerns because excessive screen time in early childhood is correlated with a range of negative physical, psychosocial and cognitive outcomes.

Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children.

J Pediatr Child Health. 2017; 53: 333-338

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain these associations. Excessive screen time during infancy, when the brain is very plastic, could impair the development of brain structure. A 2019 study found MRI evidence of adverse associations between screen time and the microstructural integrity of white matter pathways implicated in literacy and executive function in children aged 3-5 years.

  • Hutton JS
  • Dudley J
  • Horowitz-Kraus T
  • DeWitt T
  • Holland SK
Associations between screen media use and brain white matter integrity in preschool children.

Detrimental associations between screen time and emerging language and literacy skills became insignificant when adjusted for household income.

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