Excessive Screen Time Affects Brain Development In Kids

by Paromita Datta published on -

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Screentime among small children is increasing, but its effect on brain development is little known. A recent study by Dutch scientists reveals the worrying effect of excessive screentime on brain development in children. Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study showed that excessive exposure to screen-based media lowered the microstructural integrity of the brain white matter tracts that supports language and emergent literacy skills in prekindergarten children.

The findings are based on a cross-sectional study of healthy preschool-aged children aged between 3 to 5 years. Culminating in 2018, the study was undertaken for a year. 47 healthy participants were picked from American children’s hospital and community primary care clinics. Screen-based media exposure was calculated as per The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, namely access, frequency of use, co-viewing, and content viewed. To gauge the effect on brain development, the children took cognitive tests.

A little boy checking his phone

Higher screen time was found to adversely affect areas of the brain associated with executive function, language, and emerging literacy abilities. This indicated that more research is required on the association between screentime and brain development during early childhood.


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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She is currently pursuing an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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