Delayed Speech Development and Handheld Device Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics has made a policy recommendation to discourage any type of screen media for children younger than 18 months.
A recent research study led by Catherine Birken a Pediatrician and Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has found that the more handheld screen time a child’s parent reports, the more likely the child was to have expressive speech delays.
Data gathered between 2011 and 2015 on (894 children ages 6 months to 2 years) found by their 18 month check-ups, 20 percent of the children had daily average handheld device use of 28 minutes. Each 30 minute increase in handheld screen time translated into a 49 percent increased risk of expressive speech delay.
More research is needed to understand the longer term impact on early childhood and communication.While time spent with technology may be great for adults a real time interaction with parents and family cannot be replaced with a device.