Parents with babies and/or toddlers may want to set new guidelines when it comes to their children’s use of tablets, given a new warning from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to doctors, allowing children, particularly those under two years old, to use a tablet for prolonged periods of time may actually do more harm than good to their developing bodies.
In an interview with Baltimore.cbslocal.com, occupational therapist Lindsay Marzoli says, “If they are always on the iPad and not actually doing those paper and pencil activities that they should be doing, those muscles are going to remain weaker. What we’re seeing is a lot of children coming in with some motor delays, some decreased muscle strength in areas.”
A 2013 poll conducted among more than 2,400 parents in the U.S. reported that 58 percent use gadgets to babysit their kids. The parents said they resorted to this because it allows them to have some “me-time” or to take a break from their parenting duties.
Another study, conducted by the Commons Sense Media Group, revealed that 38 percent of kids under two years old, versus 2011’s 10 percent, had used a mobile device. It was also found that the number of children under eight years old with access to mobile phones increased by as much as 44 percent since 2011.
While experts do state the educational benefits children can get from the media, therapists encourage parents to set their children’s touchscreen time to at least 15 minutes at a time. A policy was released in the U.S. to limit overall media consumption in a day to a maximum of two hours. This includes TV and the Internet, via internet-accessible devices.