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Smartphone may cause speech delay in infants: study

ISLAMABAD: The more time toddler spends using smartphones, tablets or other screen devices, the more he or she is likely to begin talking later, researchers have warned.

The study showed that for each 30-minute increase in hand-held screen time, there was a 49 per cent increased risk of expressive speech delay.

“Hand-held devices are everywhere these days,” said Catherine Birken, pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Ontario, Canada.

“While new pediatric guidelines suggest limiting screen time for babies and toddlers, we believe that the use of smartphones and tablets with young children has become quite common. This is the first study to report an association between hand-held screen time and increased risk of expressive language delay,” Birken added.

However, there was no apparent link between hand-held device screen time and other communications delays, such as social interactions, body language or gestures, Medical Xpress reported.

For the study, the team included 894 children between ages 6 months and 2 years.

According to their parents, 20 per cent of the children had daily average hand-held device use of 28 minutes.- Web Desk

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