Babies below One Already Use Gadgets

June 28, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. touchscreen / ˈtʌtʃˌskrin / (n.) – a type of screen that lets the user operate a device through touch
Example: Apple Inc. is known for its touchscreen gadgets.

2. distract / dɪˈstrækt / (v.) – to redirect someone’s attention to something or someone else
Example: She was distracted by the ringing phone.

3. errand / ˈɛr ənd / (n.) – a short trip done to accomplish something
Example: Tommy sent his brother on an errand.

4. chore / tʃɔr / (n.) – a small routine job
Example: Jacob cannot use his phone until he is done with his chores.

5. developmental / dɪˌveləpˈmentl̩ / (adj.) – referring to one’s growth and development
Example: Parental support is vital in a child’s developmental stage.


Read the text below.
More than a third of children under age one have already used gadgets such as tablets and smartphones, according to a study.

The study used the survey method involving 370 parents with children that were six months to four years old. The parents specifically answered questions regarding their children’s contact with media and electronics.

According to the survey results, technology was commonly used in the participants’ homes. In fact, 36% of the participants’ children under age one had used a touchscreen gadget. Among the children, 24% had made a phone call, 15% had used apps, and 12% had played video games. The survey further showed that children spent longer time using electronic gadgets as they got older.

The results also found some reasons why parents let their children use gadgets early on. One reason is that using gadgets distracts children, letting parents run errands and do household chores. Some parents also said that the gadgets calm their children, while others used them to get their children to sleep.

According to experts, exposure to gadgets may affect a child’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics said that using technology early on delays the development of a child’s language skills. This is because children lose the time to talk or interact with their parents, which is vital when learning a language.  

Children’s hearing may also be affected by the overuse of technology. Judith Page of the USA Today reported that the unsafe sound levels from gadgets may damage children’s hearing, especially when they are still in the developmental stage.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Should babies be allowed to use smartphones or tablets? Why or why not?
·         At what age should children be allowed to use gadgets? Please discuss your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that parent-child interaction is vital to a child’s development? Why?
·         What other factors do you think can delay a child’s development?

June 28, 2015