Too much use of smartphones, tablets and other devices may be harmful for toddlers as it may delay development of speech in toddlers, according to new study.
For the study, 894 children between the ages of six months and two years participated in a practice-based research work in Toronto between year 2011 and 2015.
By their 18-0month check-ups 20 per cent of children were provided handheld device for 28 minutes every day, told their parents.
According to the researchers the more time child spent on screen of the handheld device, the more the child had chances of delays in expressive speech. Researchers said this on the basis of a screening tool for language delay.
For each 30-minute increase in handheld screen time, researchers found a 49 per cent increased risk of expressive speech delay.
There was no apparent link between handheld device screen time and other communications delays, such as social interactions, body language or gestures.
“Handheld devices are everywhere these days,” said Catherine Birken, scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in the Canada.
“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,” said Birken.
“This is the first study to report an association between handheld screen time and increased risk of expressive language delay,” she said.
The results support a recent policy recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to discourage any type of screen media in children younger than 18 months.
(With inputs from PTI)