Screen time can slow babies' speech development, says study 2 years ago

Screen time can slow babies' speech development, says study

The screen time death rumbles on.

Letting children under the age of two use smartphones and tablets could hamper their speech development, according to new research.

A study conducted at the University of Toronto and The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto found that for every 30 minutes a child under the age of two spends looking at a handheld screen, their risk of delayed speech increases by 49 per cent.

Nearly 900 children between the ages of six months and two years took part in the study between 2011 and 2015.

Researchers noted that the children who spent the most time watching screens had poorer communication skills.

They did not, however, find a link between handheld device screen time and other communications delays, such as social interactions, body language or gestures.

"This is the first study to report an association between handheld screen time and increased risk of expressive language delay," said Dr Catherine Birken, who led the study, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics News.

She concluded that more research is needed in the area.

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