‘Smartphones no child’s play’

Parents, note! Better keep your smartphone away from the reach of your young ones. Playing with smartphones can impede brain development in toddlers, experts have warned. According to new research, 25% of children aged two and younger in the United States have their own smartphones, which parents say serves as a learning tool for the children, CBS News reported recently.

However, experts now point out it is too young for children to be utilizing this type of technology and that the toddlers are not learning but are just being given the phone as a distraction.

Experts are concerned because this type of smartphone usage at such a young age can impede early development in areas that would impact the child for the rest of their lives. Since childhood is a time for significant brain development , children could face problems with their basic social, verbal and learning skills.

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz said on the TV show 'CBS This Morning: Saturday' that this sort of smartphone use could actually hurt the child and that "this is really for babysitting purposes or the fear that your child shouldn't be bored" . "These years are the years that you need to be developing vocabulary , which means speaking and listening , so if you're engaged in a gadget, you're really minimizing that," the psychiatrist told CBS.

"We've seen all kinds of data now on play and how important it is to, frankly, be bored and be stimulated to do imaginative play, what that does for building creativity ," she said. "A toddler should be rolling around, touching things, developing their brains and not checking out the latest YouTube videos," CBS News contributor Lee Woodruff said on the show.

Saltz further said that parents should realize that time spent tinkering with a smartphone is "structured time" and does not allow for free thinking.

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