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Studies have established an association between television screen time and language delays in children. However, in a first of its kind study, researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children are reporting a significant association between handheld mobile media device (smartphones, tablets, video game consoles) use and expressive speech delay.
The researchers selected children between 6-months and 2-years old from the TARGet Kids! cohort. Parents provided data on the amount of time their child spends each day on mobile media devices and on their early communication and symbolic skills. Babies and toddlers with higher screen time were more likely to have delays in their expressive language. By 18-months old, children who spent an average of 16 minutes on mobile media devices daily, were at risk for significant speech delays.