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May 05, 2017 10:30 AM EDT

Excessive Use of Smartphones Cause Speech Delay In Children Under 2 Years Old [VIDEO]

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A new study that will be presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting says children under two years old who are exposed to too much smartphone use are likely to begin talking much later. Compared to other kids in their age group, issues in language development is more imminent to the techy ones.

Alarmingly, speech delay is now linked to handheld screens such as phones and tablets. In the US, some children begin using mobile gadgets before they could even learn how to talk. Per Doctors Lounge, the abstract will be explained on May 6 as part of the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting that will last until May 9. It will be held at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco.

The research included 894 children from Toronto aged six months to two years. The participants are part of TARGet Kids!, a practice-based research network in the said area between 2011 and 2015. At their 18-month check-up, 20 percent of the children used handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, and electronic games for an average of 28 minutes per day. Now, experts claim that the more time spent with handheld screens increases the chances for the kid to have speech delay problems.

According to Science Daily, a 49 percent increased the risk of speech delay was recorded for every 30-minute smartphone use. Nevertheless, there was no connection between too much smartphone use and social interactions and body languages or gestures. For the record, the recent findings support an earlier American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to prevent technology exposure in children below 18 months old.

Principal Investigator Catherine Birken, M.D., a staff pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said that this is the first study to focus on the link between handheld screen time and speech delay among kids. Julia Ma, HBSc, will be the one to present the findings on Saturday. She is an MPH student at the University of Toronto.

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