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Too much screen time for kids can lead to speech development delays

PHOENIX — Using devices to keep babies and toddlers entertained may seem like a good way to get a little you time, but too much time could cause delays in speech development.

“We are seeing more and more delays in speech language development,” Ramya Kumar, a speech language pathologist at Banner Health.

“A lot of kids are using their devices early on and what’s really happening is kind of a one-sided conversation.”

Babies and toddlers typically learn speech language development in sort of a monkey-see, monkey-do fashion from the parents.

“A lot of imitating, mimicking kind of babble, reading books, pointing to objects,” Kumar said. “Or kind of that mock play of like we’re going shopping or we’re playing doll house or [playing with] Legos.”

Those kids of interactions do not happen if kids are just sitting and staring at a screen.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics does say, up until about 2 years of age, they would like parents to limit screen time to up to two hours or less a day.”

Parents should also be attempting to limit screen time for older kids as well.

“As much you can, but the reality of what we live in today and devices makes that a little bit more challenging,” Kumar said.

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