Screen time has limited effects on toddler’s development: Japan study

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A recent study by Japanese researchers suggests that spending an hour or more in front of digital devices each day has a more limited effect on 2-year-olds’ growth and development than previously thought. The study found that negative effects could be reduced by letting young children play outside for over 30 minutes. In the study, communication skills were defined as the ability to express opinions and understand statements made by other people, while daily living skills were determined as the ability to tidy things up and help out with household chores. The study analyzed data collected on 885 children born between December 2007 and March 2012 and monitored them until they were between 18 months and 4 years old. The average screen time for the young children who took part was 2.6 hours per day. Such negative effects are very limited and can be reduced if children’s screen time is conducted with parents, the study said. The World Health Organization recommends that children aged two should not be exposed to sedentary screen time for over an hour a day. The study was published in January on the website of JAMA Pediatrics, a monthly journal of the American Medical Association.

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