Stop tablets for babies: cognitive development at risk

Children under two years old risk developing some problems in language acquisition if they spend a lot of time in front of a screen

Do your children spend a lot of time with smartphones and tablets? Be careful, they could develop serious cognitive problems.

According to the study, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting and conducted in Canada, children may experience a delay in language acquisition when exposed to electronic devices. In fact, just a few minutes a day would be enough to suffer a deficit in verbal communication. The team of scientists, led by Catherine Birken, conducted the research by analyzing the effects of tablets, smartphones and electronic games on a group of 894 children, over a period of 18 months. And the results, unfortunately, are worrying: the more time children spend in front of screens, the greater their risk of developing communication problems.

The results of the research

In the period in which the scientific investigation was carried out, 20% of children used devices for 28 minutes. If children spend 30 minutes in front of screens, the risk of experiencing a delay in verbal expression rises to 49%. According to the research, however, exposure to tablets and smartphones and other electronic devices would not cause other types of communication deficits, such as in social interactions or body language. As the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests, it is advisable not to expose children in the first 18 months of life to any kind of screen.

Once again, then, research points the finger at the negative effects of electronic devices on young children, who lack the means to defend themselves.