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Toddler’s Screen Time May Cause Speech Delay

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Digital fun comes with consequences.

Digital fun comes with consequences.

via Unsplash

via Unsplash

Digital fun comes with consequences.

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With easy-to-access electronics around every corner, basically everyone has a phone or tablet lying around their house these days. Whether a child’s screen times are related to speech delays or not has been one of the most perplexing questions for almost every parent and has stumped researchers for years. However, just recently, a study revealed that digital media does in fact negatively affect young children by delaying language development time.

The head of the study asked the parents of 900 toddlers questionnaire involving their child’s digital media use and additionally had them fill out a checklist which helped pick up potential signs of an increasing risk in speech delay. Surprisingly, the study revealed that 1 in 5 toddlers used screens for an average of 30 minutes each day. The experiment additionally displayed that a child’s risk of language problem delay increased by about 50% for every 30 minutes of screen use per day. To add on, a child’s use in electronics may also be a cause for expressive language delays. Electronic devices may also indirectly have a negative effect on children by making them lose sleep. In fact, another study showed that children who spend more time staring at screens had less sleep than those who didn’t, resulting in children to have their brains working at a slower pace than normal.

According to researchers, children learn to advance in language by interacting with others. Therefore, every minute a child spends with an electronic, the less they are interacting. Even though most parents greatly depend on electronics to keep their child from getting bored, experts suggest having children color, sing, read, or dance instead of giving children more screen time.

Many critics may point out that there are millions of videos, websites, and apps online that teach vocabulary, spelling, or other language developing skills, but it is definitely more beneficial for a child to go outside and interact with others rather than risk delays in speech by watching these videos. Although these educational videos, websites, and apps may in fact be advantageous, they are simply a small part of a big picture.

However, researchers that were a part of the study comment in an interview that a more definite and thorough research must be conducted in order to actually develop the clear evidence needed to instruct parent how to lesson or even dissolve the problem. According to Kraemer student, Ivette C., “I watch TV almost every day, but after this study I feel like I should probably stop watching so much.” Since modern day has provided us with countless electronics, finding a solution other than just stopping kids from using devices altogether may be difficult, but this study has opened the doors to many other findings in the future.

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Toddler’s Screen Time May Cause Speech Delay