Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Children's Health in the Digital Age

Version 1 : Received: 15 March 2020 / Approved: 16 March 2020 / Online: 16 March 2020 (04:22:15 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Dresp-Langley, B. Children’s Health in the Digital Age. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3240. Dresp-Langley, B. Children’s Health in the Digital Age. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3240.


Environmental studies, metabolic research, and state of the art neurobiology point towards the reduced amount of natural day and sunlight exposure of the developing child’s organism as the consequence of increasingly long hours spent indoors online as the single unifying source of a whole set of health risks identified worldwide, as is made clear in this review of the current literature. Over exposure to digital environments, from abuse to addiction, now concerns even the youngest (ages 0 to 2), and triggers, as argued on the basis of clear examples herein, a chain of interdependent negative and potentially long-term metabolic changes. This leads to a deregulation of the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter pathways in the developing brain, currently associated with online activity abuse and/or internet addiction, and akin to that found in severe substance abuse syndromes. A general functional working model is proposed under the light of evidence brought to the forefront in this review.


digital environments; over exposure; children; vitamin D; melatonin; myopia; sleep loss; depression; obesity internet addiction; serotonin; dopamine; oxidative stress


Public Health and Healthcare, Primary Health Care

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