With the holidays right around the corner, electronics, as usual, top the wish list of many children. But it can be confusing when it comes to figuring out if that's the best gift for a little one.
The do's and don'ts regarding kids and electronics can be overwhelming. Some of the latest data indicates letting young kids use an electronic device might actually be a good thing.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its guidelines for screen time for children under 2 from no time to 30 minutes. Also, a recent study from the University of London suggests kids getting on tablets as early as possible because of how quickly they learn things by using them.
The key here is the word "educational."
"If there are specific things we're learning, languages, puzzles, using a tablet to read a book to a child. There is even the simulation of flipping a page and it's your voice reading to a child. I think that's all great," said child psychologist Dr. Jacob Eichenberger, of Augusta University.
It's important to note it's not just the content of the media that matters, but how it's used.
The doctor adds this question to think about: Are they learning anything or is it simply a way of mesmerizing or placating a child so they don't bother you?
The idea is to help kids develop an aptitude for technology, while still ensuring they actually have what's most important in the developing years: face-to-face time with people.
But, experts say there are warning signs to look out for that might indicate they have too much attachment to the electronic devices, which include a child throwing a tantrum when you take the device away, or absolutely burying their face in the tablet when they do have it. Also, experts suggest kids don't use the devices outdoors, when it's really important for them to be alert to what's going on around them.
There are all kinds of tablets available for all different ages. Learn more about how they’re rated.
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