Technology causes speech, hearing risks for kids, study finds

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 8, 2015) - A new study out overnight has some shocking findings when it comes to how much time kids spend using technology, like smart phones and iPads.

Many adults use these everyday with great benefits, but, experts say, kids who use these often could suffer in how they develop, specifically their speaking and hearing abilities.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) surveyed parents of kids under 9-years-old about how their kids use technology.

The most shocking finding, they say, is how many very young kids use technology.

ASHA found:

  • 68 percent of parents said their 2-year-old uses a tablet
  • 59 percent of parents said their 2-year-old uses a smartphone
  • 44 percent of parents said their 2-year-old plays video games
  • More than half of parents surveyed worry this could harm their child’s hearing (55 percent) and speech skills (52 percent).

Experts say these numbers show dangerous trends because human interaction is key to developing strong communication.

“One is hearing, the noise levels, if they’re plugged in through ear phones and the noise level and the volume’s turned up pretty high can impact hearing,” said Deborah Dixon with ASHA. “With any device, really, it should be engaging children, not plugging them in.”

Dixon said parents can set an example and put their own technology aside in favor of one-on-one interaction with a child.

Click here for more on the study and to learn more about ASHA.

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