Canadian researchers claim that toddlers who spend more time using electronic devices are more likely to experience speech delay or other developmental problems. This applies to all children under two whose parents allow them to stay in front of the screens of smartphones, tablets, or other such devices.
Researchers argue that children might start speaking much later if they start using electronic devices too early in life. In fact, the more hours they spent playing with phones and tablets, the more delayed their speech might be.
Is technology making children antisocial?
Many people are afraid that the rise of technology is affecting our social skills. Also, they are concerned about the fact that gadgets are now in every house, and parents resort to them to keep their children busy. This is why the researchers decided to see if these devices indeed affect our children.
For the research, they analyzed data from 894 children aged between six months and two years. They collected the data between 2011 and 2015. They discovered that, for every 30 minutes the toddlers spent using the gadgets, the risk of speech delay increased by 49 percent.
Spending too much time using gadgets only delays speech in children
However, the only risk present was that of a late start in speech. Their other skills related to social interaction were unharmed. Researchers suggest that this might happen since children learn how to use handheld devices before learning how to speak.
Dr. Catherine Birken, pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, is also concerned that too much gadget use among toddlers might affect them.
“While new pediatric guidelines suggest limiting screen time for babies and toddlers, we believe that the use of smartphones and tablets with young children has become quite common.”
However, this study needs more research until experts can establish what is the optimal screen time for toddlers.
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