The following is an excerpt from an online article published by StudyFinds.
According to a new study, most children under 5 spend an unhealthy amount of time on smartphones or in front of the TV. Researchers have found that only a minority of children around the world meet the recommended screen time.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 years old avoid any technology other than video chat. Children ages 2-5 should only have 1-2 hours to deal with electronics. Previous studies show that excessive screen time leads to developmental delays, including language and socialization. It is also linked to childhood obesity and deteriorating mental health.
The research team looked for previous studies that measured screen time in children under 5 years old. The results revealed 63 studies that assessed nearly 90,000 children on whether they met or exceeded screen time recommendations.
“One in four children under age 2 and one in three children ages 2-5 meet screen time guidelines, underscoring the need for additional public health initiatives to encourage healthy use devices," the researchers write.
Nearly 25% of children under 2 did not use screens. Only 35.6% of children aged 2 to 5 limit their screen time to less than an hour. More children (about 56%) aged 2-5 met the guidelines when their screen time was less than 2 hours. Based on these results, the researchers say families only need to make minor adjustments to get up to 1 hour of screen time per day.
Another finding was that children under 5 were more likely to exceed recommendations when watching TV or a movie.