Children who use game consoles, smartphones and tablets too often are more prone to developing emotional and behavioral problems before the age of 5, according to researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, whose conclusions are published by the BMJ Open.
The analysis covered 699 children (333 girls and 366 boys). Data on their physical and mental health, as well as contact with electronics, were collected from birth to the age of five (mainly on the basis of questionnaires filled in by parents).
At the age of 18 months, children used electronic devices for an average of 32 minutes a day, and at the age of about 5 - 114 minutes a day. Every fourth child at the age of 18 months spent over an hour a day in front of various monitors, and at the age of 5 it was already 95%. kids.
The frequent use of electronic devices by 18-month-old children was related to 59 percent. greater likelihood of problems in relationships with peers in a few years.
Children up to 5 years of age who abused electronics more often manifested problems with concentration, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and emotional problems.
“Between 2013 and 2017, the amount of time preschoolers spent with a smartphone or tablet tripled. Currently, children use these devices every day, which limits the time spent with family members, as well as reading or non-electronic play. At such a young age, a child's social and emotional development is highly dependent on the interaction between environmental factors and social learning, 'comment the authors.
More - on the publication's website (DOI: 10.1136 / bmjopen-2020-040848) (PAP)