A new research for pre-school children and smartphone use by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare in Helsinki, published in the British medical journal “BMJ Open”, analysed data on 700 children. The study correlated with the mental health of each child, the time that during the week, at the ages of 18 months and five years, he used electronic devices.
The study points out that in recent years the use of devices by young children has increased significantly, resulting in many four-year-olds playing video games, using apps or watching videos on a daily basis, without parents always being aware of what their children are doing.
New research has found that as a modern child grows older, so does the use of devices. Thus, while at the age of 18 months the use of devices was on average 32 minutes per day, it reached 114 minutes (almost two hours) at the age of five.
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Almost one in four children (23%) spent more than an hour every day in front of a screen at the age of 18 months, while at the age of five this percentage had reached 95%, i.e. very few five-year-old children spent less than an hour in front of a screen (laptop, mobile, game machine, etc.). One in ten five-year-olds (11%) He spent over an hour with video games.
An assessment of children’s mental health using special questionnaires at the age of five showed that children who, from the age of 18 months, often used screen devices had a nearly 60% greater risk of problematic relationships with their peers.
Increased gaming use was associated with an increased risk of hyperactivity, while increased film watching was associated with an increased likelihood of various psycho social problems.