Excessive Exposure to Electronic Devices Linked to Delayed Cognitive Growth in Children

A research team in Japan has revealed that early childhood exposure to electronic device screens is associated with delayed cognitive development in the later stages of childhood.

The joint research team from Hamamatsu and Tohoku Universities conducted a study involving 7,097 mothers and their children to measure the amount of time these children were exposed to electronic device screens during early childhood.

This was done through a survey that assessed the time these children spent watching television, using tablets, mobile phones, video game screens, and other similar devices.

The study found that 48.5% of children were exposed to screens for less than one hour daily, 29.5% for less than two hours, 17.9% for two to four hours, and 4.1% for four hours or more.

The study aimed to measure the cognitive growth of children aged two to four years in five major areas related to communication, motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving, and personal and social skills.

The study revealed a correlation between cognitive growth in these areas and the amount of time children were exposed to screens during early childhood.

Watching electronic devices at the age of one, for instance, led to a delay in cognitive growth of two years in all areas except motor skills. By the age of four, children experienced delays in communication and problem-solving skills, among others.

Researcher Takuo Obara, an epidemiology expert at Tohoku University, noted that “the varying levels of growth delay in these areas indicate the need for separate studies in the future to determine the impact of screen time on each of these areas individually.”

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