5Rights’ updated ‘Digital Childhood’ report illustrates impact of digital environment on children’s developmental trajectory

How does the digital environment impact a child’s ability to meet their development goals? Designed with children’s needs in mind, it has the potential to be a landscape of opportunity, understanding, risk and challenge. Without regard for children and their evolving capacities, the digital world fails this potential. Access predicated on adult maturity provides a toxic environment that often gets in the way of a child’s development.

Updated to reflect the rapid pace of change in the digital world and children’s experience since 2017, Digital Childhood: Addressing Childhood Development Milestones in the Digital Environment illustrates how growing up in the digital environment directly impacts a child’s developmental trajectory and concludes that a managed transition from infancy to adulthood is as important in the digital environment as it is in the offline world.

The report explores how child development research can be used to inform policy and practice in the digital environment. It takes each age group in turn, outlines what we know about child development, and the major digital interactions of children at that age, and then considers the risks, challenges, and impacts. The new report contains sections on:

  • How to use childhood development milestones to inform policy
  • The voices of children and young people
  • Designing with childhood milestones in mind
  • Risk, harm and opportunity
  • How the digital interactions of different age groups influence their development

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