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Effects of TV on Baby's Speech Development: Expert Speaks

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Do you think your baby's exposure to television can have a negative effect on the little one's development? The effects of television or screentime on infants and toddlers have been a matter of concern and continue to be so.



In recent years, television has become a major part of our lives. It’s not only television but the use of smartphones and gadgets like tablets, PSPs, laptops, is increasing day by day. Due to huge socio-economic pressure, new aged parents get little time to relax and enjoy nature and outings, and so screen time plays a major role in their entertainment. Babies and toddlers are also not out of this zone.

New aged cartoons, videos, animations are catching their attention and since they do imitate a lot from their parents, spending time on screen has also become common among the little ones.

How TV impacts your child's speech development

Early developmental age is very crucial for each and every baby. One of the major developments that occur in this stage is language and speech development. During the initial few years, babies acquire information from the people and environment around them. An increased amount of mobile or television watching hampers their information acquisition process.

Fast paced videos, the tonal quality of videos inhibit a child to learn a new language. From 1 year onward, babies start imitating people around them. Therefore, rather than depending on the screen, increase in communication verbally can boost a child’s speech development in a better and effective way.

Despite every modern technique, two-way communication that is, communicating directly with children is the most basic and best way of speech development till date.

Infants, toddlers, and television

According to a research by Chonchaiya and Pruksananonda (2008), children watching television before 1 year for more than 2 hours per day were six times more likely to have a language delay. There are many more studies, which show that increased amount of television watching, use of mobile, leads to the delayed development of speech and language in children.

Further, the habit of watching television, mobile is also linked with inattention-hyperactivity, memory and learning problem in children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television and other media use by children younger than 2 years and encourages interactive play. So, while applying this, parents also need to resist themselves from screens.

How to avoid screen time for your child: The Alternatives

Although there is no hard and fast rule, the more parents will restrict their screen time, the more they will help their child to develop in a versatile way. Some alternatives that can be used in place of screen time are:

 Communicating more often with the child.

 Singing songs and reciting rhymes.

 Reading books.

 Playing outdoor-indoor games.

 Make-believe play.

 Helping in domestic activities

 Colouring images

 Frequent interaction between same age children

There are hundreds of techniques that parents can apply. It also helps in creating good bonding with the child.

Many parents visit my clinic saying that without television, mobile, it becomes impossible to handle their child as they show such behavioral problems like stubbornness, shouting and if the T.V. is turned on, they become very quiet. So, I ask them, ‘’What is more important to you? The immediate relief or the long-time relief?’’

The choice is completely up to the parents. If they opt for long-term relief, they have to be more patient, calm and innovative to deal with their children, since short-term relief will only quieten the kids for a while but in the long run, make them all the more stubborn and adamant, which is not right.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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