HEALTH WARNING: Toddlers and Tablets

Updated: Wednesday, April 9 2014, 12:13 AM CDT
HEALTH WARNING:  Toddlers and Tablets story image
Now to that new warning about toddlers and tablets.
There's been a sharp rise in little kids playing with their parents smartphones and tablets  and experts worry about the impact the screens could have on your child's development.

Little Abby likes to find fruit.
And one of Charlie's favorite toys is his mommy's tablet.
These tots are toddler techies not yet two years old.

Paula: "Is it easy to use it as baby-sitting sometimes?"
Joy: "Definitely, it is easy especially if you are the parent of multiple kids and I am but you have to monitor it."

According to a recent study by Common Sense Media, 38% of babies under two have used tablets or smartphones, up from 10% in 2011

And now companies are cashing in  with a potty, a stroller compartment, even an infant bouncy seat - all with a place for a tablet or iPad!

But child development experts are asking - should children this young be spending time on electronic devices?

Tovah Klein: "It becomes a slippery slope and my concern is I think we have a potential crisis."
Tovah Klein, author of "How Toddler's Thrive" -- runs the Barnard Center for Toddler Development in New York City.

Tovah Klein: "Technology takes kids away from what they need most, which is the back and
forth interaction; technology puts them on this one on one head down no eye contact - and information is thrown at them"

Klein also says tablets and smart phones are so new, there's no way to know what kind of neurological impact it may have on children. 
But father Robert Sweetman says sometimes it's the only thing that works.

Robert Sweetman: "It works as bribery. I can use it to get him in the stroller to get out the door"

We reached out to the Toy Industry Association and individual toymakers who told us that digital toys and electronic devices can benefit a child, but that it is up to the adult to choose those items, and supervise and engage with the child.

So what should you do at home? Tovah Klein recommends:
Limiting screentime for under twos to ten to fifteen minutes.
And if you do allow it never let it occupy your toddler outdoors.
And don't use it as a silencer or pacifier

Applications worth trying.
"I have three points!"
HEALTH WARNING: Toddlers and Tablets

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