SEOUL, March 31 (Korea Bizwire) — The exposure of toddlers to smartphones and digital media undermines their social development, a study showed Thursday.
A research team from Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital interviewed parents of 96 toddlers who had received medical treatment for delays in social development and those with 101 toddlers without social development disorders to compare the time and duration of media exposure, as well as its methods.
The results showed that 95.8 percent of those experiencing social development disorders had been exposed to digital media before the age of 2.
In contrast, only 59.4 percent of toddlers without social development disorders watched digital media before that age.
The proportion of toddlers watching more than two hours of digital media on a daily basis was higher among toddlers with social development disorders (63.6 percent) than those without (18.8 percent).
The data also showed that 77.1 percent of toddlers with social development disorders watched digital media alone. For those without social development disorders, the proportion was only 38.6 percent.
Parents of toddlers with social development disorders blamed ‘depression, health issues, and double breadwinning household’ as the primary reason for showing digital media to their children (55 percent), followed by the need to comfort their children (26.5 percent).
In contrast, only 41.3 percent and 7.4 percent of parents of toddlers without social development disorders said likewise.
“Exposure to media over extensive hours at such a young age means less time communicating and interacting with parents, resulting in a loss of opportunities to play creatively,” said Prof. Kim Sung-goo, a pediatric neurologist from the research team.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)