Computer use can affect child speech development

By | May 11, 2017

Toddler boy using smartphone

Growing evidence suggests that screen time may have some negative consequences for young children’s development. In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much. Jenny Radesky, assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at U-M and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says these results suggest that trying to address a child’s language development with educational apps may not be effective. Radesky, who was not involved in the study, says the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against handheld devices or computers for children under 18 months, and instead encourages parents to engage directly with their infants.