Study: Tablets can lead to speech delay in children

Posted at 4:54 AM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-29 14:17:00-04

Preoccupying kids is easier than ever - thanks to these, "Because I love video games," said Jackson - who says he and his sister Ella are all about the technology. But a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows giving tablets to babies 3 years or younger can delay their speech.

"It's kind of like when you grow up in a house where someone speaks another language, if they are not speaking it directly to you, you're not going to pick up that other language," said Jennifer Ferreira, a Speech Language Pathologist at Johns Hopkins All Children's.

When your babies eyes are focused on a screen - they aren't focused on you. Ferreira says the social skill development is really affected.

"They walk in and people say hi to them and they just keep walking past . If you go to a restaurant you see them, they are looking at their iPads but not learning the social mannerisms to look at the waiter and to pay attention and to order their own food," she said.

It's one reason, Jeff Heisner has strict rules for Ella and Jackson when it comes to tablet time, "do not let them use it before homework, don't let them use it during the week, or give it to them as a reward when the work is done."

Ferreira says if you give them the tablet- take the time to interact with them.

"What is she doing and why are we doing that and oh they went over a mountain. So we can still be interacting and developing that language even while we're playing a game or watching it," she said.

Ferreira says these devices can also hinder their attention and memory skills, plus problem solving and decision making.