Are Videos and Apps Really Helping Your Children?

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(WMTV) - A new study reveals some startling statistics when it comes to how much time your child spends on their iPad.

More and more parents are turning to educational videos and apps thinking it will help their child. Instead, it's doing exactly the opposite. (Photo Courtesy: NBC)

More and more parents are turning to educational videos and apps thinking it will help their child. Instead, it's doing exactly the opposite.

The study was presented at this year's Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, and finds children between six months and two years using handheld devices are more likely to develop speech delays.

Becky Ingebrigtsen is a busy woman. As a mother of two, she doesn't get much time to herself.

"I'll go do work, they're happy in front of the screen. I look at them, I can do one more thing, then look at them again. They're happy, I can do one more thing," Becky said.

But Becky is starting to re-think this.

"For every additional 30 minutes a day, there was almost a 50 percent increase in language delay," says UW Madison Associate Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Dipesh Navsaria.

This includes the inability to produce words as well as put words together, and that's a scary finding for Navsaria.

"I never want to find speech delay at age four or five, because the ability of the brain to rewire itself is already starting to decline by age four or five," Navsaria said.

But what if it's an educational video?

"I want her to hear singing and songs and counting, and there's educational shows that are so easy for you to access," Becky said.

According to Navsaria, whether it's educational or not - from six months to two years - he says avoid screen use, period.

"No matter what your education status, anything like that, you are far better than any device," Navsaria said.

In fact, he says the interaction between a loving parent and a child is the key to development.

"As my one colleague says children needs laps not apps," Navsaria said.

Dr. Navsaria encourages parents and kids to check out the American Academy of Pediatric Digital Media Use plan. It lets families take a look at suggested guidelines, rules and limits - as well as print out a contract for your own family.



 
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