This week saw the release of the Vinci Tab— the first high-tech tablet made just for toddlers. The rugged tablet is made to withstand all the damage a baby can inflict, while providing apps and games to teach early skills like counting, colors, and words. Early reviews are positive, but the Vinci has many experts questioning the long-term effects that come with touch-screen technology.
A recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article reported that many experts are wary of how touch-screens may effect development:
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children age 2 and younger should not be exposed to extended amounts of screen time, which includes computer touch screens on smartphones and iPads and television and video games.
“Little kids’ brain development needs to evolve un-interfered with,” says pediatrician Gwenn O’Keeffe,a member of the group’s Council on Communications and Media. “The more technology that is introduced at a young age, it disrupts how their brains are wired and how kids think and learn. Kids under 2 don’t understand what they’re using.”
While no one debates the ability for these tablets to captivate children’s attention and teach core skills, many agree they’re no replacement for parent-child interaction. Diego Chaves-Gnecco, developmental-behavioral pediatrician and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told the Tribune Review:
“It is important while the brain of the child is being developed that the personal contact with a parent or human being is there. Audio stimulation is good, visual stimulation is good. But nothing can replace human contact. If this is going to encourage kids to read more, I will say yes, but it will never replace human contact.”
Recognizing the authority of the American Academy of Pediatrics, we want to know what you think! Are you in favor of tablets for toddlers? If you’re a parent of a young child, how are you managing their exposure to screen time?