The amount of children’s time Spend time looking at computer, TV and phone screens The first year of life can be linked to lower cognitive skills later in life, according to a new study.
Children who watched an average of two hours of screen time a day performed worse on executive functions at age 9, according to the study released Monday. In JAMA Pediatrics Journal.
Executive functions linked to long-term academic success are defined by the study’s researchers as “a set of higher-order cognitive skills important for self-regulation, learning, and academic success as well as mental health.”
The researchers studied more than 400 children.
“They did an EEG to test and study brain waves at around 18 months and then connected the dots between how much screen time they saw as babies and how they performed on tests of memory and intelligence at age 9,” explained Dr. Jennifer Ashton. , ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, who was not involved in the study. “What they found was that the children who had the most screen time … did the worst on tests of attention and memory at age 9.”
The study did not prove that screen time directly leads to lower cognitive function. Other factors, such as family income level, appear to be associated with lower cognitive function scores.
However, follow up with the findings Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics Children under the age of 2 should not have any screen time.
The AAP recommends that children ages 2 to 5 limit screen time to about one hour a day, supervised by a caregiver.
More than 75% of children under 2 years of age and 64% of children between 2 and 5 years of age. following the recommended guidelines, According to researchers University of CalgaryIt examined more than 60 studies that looked at more than 89,000 children around the world.
Above age 5, the AAP says parents should set limits on screen time and work with their children. Create a family media usage plan It sets time limits and sets guidelines on the type of media children use.
“There is some research that suggests there may be some social or emotional benefits with older children, especially teenagers,” Ashton said. “So it’s really not just how much, but what our teenagers and kids are consuming on screen that makes a big difference.”
Earlier this week US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy made headlines with his statement He believes that 13 children is too young to be present on social media platforms, including some of the most popular platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, despite setting a minimum age requirement.
Social media use has been linked to depression and anxiety symptoms, body image issues, and lower life satisfaction for some youth and teens. Research shows. High levels of social media use during adolescence are associated with lower life satisfaction one year later. A large study found.
Not all teenagers have those experiences. Researchers are still working to understand who is more vulnerable to the negative effects of social media, and it is not yet clear whether there are differences in mental health when children first start using social media.
For parents trying to navigate social media guidelines and screen time with their kids, Ashton shares these four tips.
1. There are no phones on the table For meals or family gatherings.
2. Stop screen time An hour before going to bed.
3. Keep phones and screens out of the bedroom while sleeping.
4. Lead by the example of parents By limiting your own screen time and social media use.