The Impact of Screen Time on Communication Development

Children as young at two are using tablets and other “screens”, shows a recent survey conducted by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). The survey polled 1,000 parents of children ages 0 to 8. More than two-thirds of the respondents said their 2-year-olds are using tablets, more than half said they use smart phones, and one in four indicated their 2-year-olds are using some form of technology at the dinner table.

Key findings:

  • 55% of parents surveyed had some degree of concern that misuse of technology may be harming their children’s hearing
  • 52% said they were concerned that technology was negatively impacting the quality of their conversations with their children
  • 72% agreed that loud noise from technology may lead to hearing loss in their children
  • 24% of 2-year-olds use technology at the dinner table. By age 8, that percentage nearly doubles to 45%
  • By age 6, 44% of kids would rather play a game on a technology device than read a book or be read to
  • More than half of parents said they use technology to keep kids ages 0 to 3 entertained
  • Nearly 50% of parents of children age 8 reported that they often rely on technology to prevent behavior problems and tantrums

There is a reason that pediatricians advise limiting screen time for children. While being technology savvy will be an important life skill for today’s children to have, too much screen time will impact the development of speech and communication skills.