HomeDomestic NewsDanish study reveals young children exceed screen time recommendations

Danish study reveals young children exceed screen time recommendations

A new study from the University of Southern Denmark reveals that four-year-old children spend an average of 1 hour and 10 minutes in front of a screen every day. This significantly exceeds the recommended limits, which can have negative consequences for children’s development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of one hour of sedentary screen time daily, while Children’s Rights (Børns Vilkår) suggests a maximum of 45 minutes. According to the study, 46 percent and 61 percent of four-year-olds respectively exceed these recommendations on a daily basis. Trine Flensborg-Madsen, a professor in children and youth health at the University of Southern Denmark, states that more studies are needed on the consequences of high screen use. Current studies indicate that excessive screen time can affect children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. “Part of the problem is that screen time replaces time that children could have used for other activities, such as interacting with other people,” she explains. Additionally, much of the content children see is designed to keep them engaged, making it difficult for them to turn away from the screen. The study is based on parental responses, and it is suggested that the actual screen time may be even higher. Kathrine Elmose Jørgensen, a digital media expert at Children’s Rights, is surprised that 61 percent of four-year-olds exceed the recommendations on weekdays and a whopping 84 percent on weekends. “It is concerning because young children need a lot of physical activity, contact, sleep, and other activities that screens cannot replace,” she says. Children’s Rights emphasizes that it is not just about the amount of screen time, but also about the content. They recommend prioritizing screen use where the child is active or creative. Although screen time can be a convenient solution in a busy daily life, it is important to remember that time spent in front of the screen is time not spent on other important activities, concludes Kathrine Elmose Jørgensen.

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