HealthDay News — Greater screen time for children at 1 year of age is associated with developmental delays in communication and problem-solving at ages 2 and 4 years, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Ippei Takahashi, from Tohoku University in Japan, and colleagues examined the association between screen time exposure among children at age 1 year and 5 domains of developmental delay (communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal and social skills) at ages 2 and 4 years. The analysis included 7,097 mother-child pairs.
Researchers found that when compared with screen time of less than 1 hour/day at age 1 year, more screen time was associated with a higher risk for developmental delay at age 2 years in the following domains: communication (odds ratio [OR], 1.61 for 1 to less than 2 hours/day; 2.04 for 2 to less than 4 hours/day; 4.78 for 4 or more hours/day), fine motor (OR, 1.74 for 4 or more hours/day), problem-solving (OR, 1.40 for 2 to less than 4 hours/day; 2.67 for 4 or more hours/day), and personal and social skills (OR, 2.10 for 4 or more hours/day). At age 4 years, a higher risk for developmental delay was seen with increasing screen time for communication (OR, 1.64 for 2 to less than 4 hours/day; 2.68 for 4 or more hours/day) and problem-solving (OR, 1.91 for 4 or more hours/day).
“These findings suggest that domains of developmental delay should be considered separately in future discussions on screen time and child development,” conclude the authors.