Think Twice Before Letting Your Child Have An iPad

These days, children are addicted to their iPads, and it’s almost impossible to pry them out of their tiny hands and advertisers know this well bytargeting ads and videos specifically for kids, hoping to take full advantage of susceptible children.

While most parents think letting their child own an electronic device might be harmless, nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, allowing a child to own tablets and iPads might be more dangerous than you ever imagined.

First off, it’s important to remember, the internet is a wild place. Children can gain access to anything, and anyone can gain access to your children.

Predators often pose as other kids, hoping to build online “friendships” with children.

And kids may innocently click an ad that can lead them to a website which is not safe for them to view.

At minimum, if you insist on letting your child use a smartphone or other electronic gadgets, it is absolutely critical to install parental controls to limit and monitor what sites your children visit.

Block all social media sites such as Facebook, and limit what can be viewed on YouTube.

Or even better, turn off the internet completely and only have a few educational games available for them to use.

One parent found out the hard way the damaging effects owning an iPad can have.

In this case, the child had become addicted to YouTube and started acting out at home.

Scary Mommy, a popular mommy blog, tells the story:

“But then, a few weeks ago, I started to notice that my 4-year-old’s behavior was becoming heavily impacted by the videos. He was demanding candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every single toy he’d seen in the videos had to be added to his wish list NOW, and I found him attempting to search for stuff on Amazon…

Next came some other red flags. He had seen a video where people were cutting toys up with scissors, and he started trying this at home — and not just with toys either (goodbye to my chapstick, phone charger, and his big brother’s homework).”

Children are like sponges, and they soak up everything they see – both good and bad.

But besides the safety concerns and damaging effects of allowing a child to watch YouTube, there’s even more bad news.

A recent study showed children under 2 who used a tablet regularly actually showed signs of speech delay.

Business Insider reported:

“In the first study, Julia Ma at the University of Toronto and colleagues found that, in children younger than 2, the more time spent with a handheld screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, the more likely the child was to show signs of a speech delay. Ma presented the work May 6 at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco.

The team used information gleaned from nearly 900 children’s 18-month checkups. Parents answered a questionnaire about their child’s mobile media use and then filled out a checklist designed to identify heightened risk of speech problems. This checklist is a screening tool that picks up potential signs of trouble; it doesn’t offer a diagnosis of a language delay, points out study co-author Catherine Birken, a pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Going into the study, the researchers didn’t have expectations about how many of these toddlers were using handheld screens. “We had very little clues because there is almost no literature on the topic,” Birken says. “There’s just really not a lot there.”

It turns out that about 1 in 5 of the toddlers used handheld screens, and those kids had an average daily usage of about a half hour. Handheld screen time was associated with potential delays in expressive language, the team found. For every half hour of mobile media use, a child’s risk of language delay increased by about 50 percent.”

So parents, if you choose to allow your child to have access to a tablet, limit the amount of time they can spend on it. And think long and hard about allowing children under 2 to use an electronic device at all.

In addition, remember to take it away at least an hour before bed.

Viewing a screen before bedtime can keep children awake well past the time they should be asleep.

Not everything needs to be done on a device. Encourage your children to color, read books, play outside, and even create their own games.

By not allowing your child to develop a screen addiction at a young age, you are setting them up for success later in life.

Do you allow your child to own an electronic device?

What kind of restrictions do you use in your home to limit the amount of screen time your child can have?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.



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