We already knew that too much screen time isn’t the best thing for baby (or us, for that matter). But a new study pinpointed a specific consequence: delayed speech development in toddlers.
On Thursday at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, some striking findings were announced concerning a relationship never before examined: the effect of screen time on speech development. In a study involving nearly 900 children, parents were asked to report the amount of time their child spent using screens in minutes per day at 18 months old. On average, 20 percent of kids spent 28 minutes a day. Researchers evaluated this against a variety of things involving speech development, including whether sounds or words were used to get attention or help, the ability to put words together and the number of words spoken.
The conclusion was alarming: Every additional 30 minutes of screen time per day was linked to a 49 percent increased risk of “expressive speech delay,” which involves problems using sounds and words to communicate.
Once further evaluated, these findings could influence the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on screen time. In October, the AAP revised their guidelines, abandoning their former stance to keep babies under 2 completely away from screens. The new guidelines detailed that some forms…