Tuesday October 26, 2021

More screen time can delay language skill of children

Published : 23 Sep 2021, 18:47

  DF News Desk

Pixabay photo.

Spending a lot of time on electronic devices can slow down young children's language development, according to a study conducted by Tampere University Hospital (TAYS) of Finland.

The study investigated the development of speech and linguistic expression in toddlers at 18 and 24 months of age and found that the more "screen time" spent by both parents and their children, the slower the toddler's language development, said TAYS in a press release issued on Wednesday, reported Xinhua.

A total of 1,667 Finnish-speaking families were chosen by regional clinics to participate in the study before their children were born.

Researchers at TAYS asked the parents to describe their child's vocabulary, word combinations, speech intelligibility as well as their finger-pointing and instruction-following abilities.

The study showed that 69 percent of 18-month-old children knew no more than 20 words, and 36 percent of them knew a maximum of five words.

In addition, among two-year-old toddlers, 32 percent could use up to 40 words, and 10 percent could use 40 to 50 words. The figures are lower than in other studies.

The study's findings showed that children's vocabularies appear to be developing more slowly than before, said Marja Asikainen, the study's lead author.

The use of electronic devices by parents, as well as children, appears to have an impact on a child's linguistic development. Asikainen said their frequent use has the potential to limit the amount of conversation and play between parents and their children.

The use of electronic media included watching content on TVs, tablets, or other devices.

However, the researchers said that electronic devices and media can also be harmless or even help develop a child's ability to function if they have plenty of time for other activities and the content consumed during periods of screen time is chosen carefully.

The findings of the study, which was conducted in cooperation with the University of Tampere and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, have been published in the scientific journal Acta Pediatrics.