by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  November 20, 2013 at 11:54 AM Health In Focus
Should Toddlers be Allowed to Use Touchscreens?
An occupational therapist suggests that touchscreens may do harm to a child's development, and therefore should be avoided in toddlers.

The recent and widespread intrusion of electronic gadgets into our lives has changed our lives to a large extent. Smartphones and tablets have brought the world to our fingertips. Just a tap here, and a tap there, and we get whatever we are looking for, be it information or a job or even groceries. People who have been able to adapt to these changes often find life much easier.

However, all good things do have their adverse aspects. With the use of computers, tablets and smartphones, a lot of us now find it easier to type or tap, rather than write down with a pen or a pencil. And this has happened despite our numerous years of experience with writing, when these devices were not available.

According to a news report, the occupational therapist, Lindsay Marzoli from Learning and Therapy Corner in Maryland, suggests that the use of touchscreens could affect the development of the muscles of the hands and fingers in toddlers. Toddlers who are exposed to touchscreens are likely to spend much more of their lifetime using such devices. They may resist the use of a pen and a paper, which is important in their motor development.

Earlier studies have suggested limitation of screen time for children. Experts have suggested that screen time should be limited to a maximum of two hours per day for children. Children below the age of 2 years should preferably not spend any time in front of a screen, which is not an easy task for parents to achieve. The use of mobile phones in children also needs restriction since possible adverse effects have not been established.

Source: Medindia

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