Smartphones, tablets may not be best for babies, study says

Electronic devices can help school-aged children, however

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you’re the parent of a toddler, you certainly know a thing or two about the art of distraction. But one popular trick may not benefit your child in the long term.

Sometimes it seems like the only way for parents of little ones to get anything done is by buying themselves a few minutes when their toddler is distracted and quiet. And in today’s digital world, a lot of parents can quickly and easily accomplish that by giving their baby what’s in their hands already — a smartphone or tablet.

But new research from Boston University suggests that for children under 30 months old, exposure to electronic devices such as cell phones or tablets may impact their social-emotional development. Toddlers learn how to cooperate and problem solve by interacting with people, especially other children. And hands-on activities like building blocks and counting toys help with motor skills.

Doctors added that tablets and other devices can certainly offer learning opportunities for kids, but that happens most beneficially when they’re closer to school age.

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