Too much time spent watching TV and playing computer games can hold back the development of young children, new research suggests.
A study of 2,400 Canadian children found more screen time was linked to lower scores in “milestone” tests of communication, problem solving, interpersonal skills and physical coordination.
Writing in the journal Jama Pediatrics, the team of Canadian psychologists concluded: “The present study examined developmental outcomes during a critical period of growth and maturation, revealing that screen time can impinge on children’s ability to develop optimally.”
The amount of time two and three-year-olds devoted to screen-gazing had a negative effect on their performance at three and five.
There was no evidence children with developmental problems were allowed more screen time by their parents to control challenging behaviour.