(ANSA) – ROME, JUN 06 – Spending too much time in front of TV screens, smartphones or tablets from the first months of life can negatively influence the cognitive and psychic development of children. The new alarm about the effects of screens on children comes from a study by Shanghai Jiao Tong University published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The research monitored 152 children from 6 months to 6 years, classified into three groups based on the evolution in the consumption habits of electronic media: the first included children who for the whole period of the study maintained a reduced exposure to screens ( about 1 hour a day at the age of six); of the second, those who consumed a few electronic media in the very first years of life but then reached 4 hours a day; finally, the third group included children who spent a lot of time in front of the screens in the first 2 years of life (over 2.5 hours) but then stabilized on an average level of consumption (about 2 hours).
Tests performed at the end of the period showed that, compared to children who made moderate use of electronic devices, both high-consumption groups showed worse intellectual abilities (-8.23% and -6.68% for the two groups, respectively. ). Particularly interested are working memory, reasoning speed and verbal comprehension.
Furthermore, these children also had a slightly increased risk (of about 2%) of suffering from psychological and behavioral difficulties, in particular from attention problems and hyperactivity.
“With the current pervasiveness of digital products, the study findings may help encourage parents to be aware of the importance of both the age of onset and the duration of exposure to screens in early childhood,” the researchers conclude. (HANDLE).