Screen Time in First Year May Raise Autism Risk at Age 3
Boys exposed to at least 2 hours a day of screen time by 1 year of age were significantly more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis at 3 years, based on data from more than 80,000 children. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against any screen time for infants up to 1 year of age and 18 months of age, respectively, wrote Megumi Kushima, MA, of the University of Yamanashi (Japan), and colleagues on behalf of the Japan Environment and Children's Study Group. The extent to which screen time duration in infancy is associated with subsequent ASD diagnosis remains unclear, the researchers said. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased screen time among children worldwide, which makes an examination of the impact of screen time on children's health an important public health issue.
@chapal Logistic regression analysis showed that longer screen time at age 1 year was significantly associated with higher odds of ASD at 3 years in boys, but not in girls. The researchers controlled for variables including maternal maltreatment and children's predisposition to ASD. Among boys, the adjusted odds ratios for screen times of less than 1 hour, 1 hour to less than 2 hours, 2 hours to less than 4 hours, and more than 4 hours were 1.38, 2.16, 3.48, and 3.02, respectively.