The effect of electronics on the growth and development of young children:A Narrative Review

Abdullah Nasser Al Sagr, Nora Abdullah Al Sagr

Abstract


Background: The long-term usage of electronic devices produces negative effects on the growth and development of the child. Frequent and regular usage of electronics without the supervision of caregivers may be associated with delayed growth and development among young children. A plethora of studies has demonstrated heavy usage of electronic gadgets that affects the child's psychological, mental and behavioral aspects of the development, although the findings from the literature are not synthesized. Hence, the objective of this review was to appraise and synthesize the existing literature on the effects of electronics on the growth and development of young children.
Methods: We searched for different databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed, CINAHL and Science Direct to search and retrieve articles. All English articles published in developed and developing countries from 2000 to 2018 were included in this study. Primary and review articles were examined for information pertinent to the objective. Findings from both quantitative and qualitative studies were reviewed and included. After doing a comprehensive search of all eligible studies, we included 15 full-text articles in this review.
Findings: The existing review of the literature demonstrated that children spend most of their time on different gadgets like telephone, mobile phone, radio, TV, games, Xbox, iPod, and stereo system. Children use gadgets for various purposes like playing games, watching videos, listening to songs, chatting with their friends, browsing different websites. The findings of the study regarding the effect of electronic gadgets on the child's growth and development are mixed. Some studies show that children might be benefited from gadgets, however, studies also reveal that usage of gadgets might have negative effects on the growth and development of children.
Conclusion: It is concluded that as the gadgets are increasing day by day, it is making children more addicted to technology. The usage of gadgets might be beneficial to some extent, however, excessive usage may lead to adverse outcomes among young children. Thus, it is important to take action to prevent children from watching excessive electronic gadgets under the proper supervision of caregivers.

Keywords


Electronic gadgets; young children; growth and development.

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