Tablet Use May Cause Negative Effects for Child Users 12/30/13
CBS 7 News
December 30, 2013
ODESSA,TX-Tablets seemed to be one of the more popular Christmas gifts this year, but some health experts have concerns about the effects it can have on children.
Many parents in the area say they see tablets as a positive gadget for their children, so long as they are monitored, but not all people, or doctors agree.
Over at the Kinmanís home, they all share one tablet, which is designated for educational games for their 2-year-old and 7-year-old.
Elizabeth Kinman says the tablet can either have a positive, or negative effect on kids, depending on how it's used and controlled by the parents.
"I look at mine being positive, because they're not constantly on it, and the only games they do play on it are educational," said Kinman.
Kinman did admit that it's an easy distraction for her 2-year-old when she's trying to get chores done around the house. She sets a two-hour time limit for her kids, and is relieved to know that they actually learn new things from it everyday.
"He knows the colors very well, his vocabulary has increased a lot since he's been playing on the tablet, because of repetitive words," said Kinman.
One Odessa doctor says it's too early for researchers to determine whether or not tablets are a good or bad thing for kids, but she says she sees very few positives.
"They take away time from interaction with adults, and can effect their speech, and play a role in child obesity," said Dr. Manisha Desai.
Dr. Desai says as a parent, she knows how easy it is to keep your child entertained and quiet, but doesn't agree that it should be used as a babysitter.
"It puts our job as parenting aside, because we have to do that much less, which I donít think is a good thing," said Dr. Desai.
Dr. Desai believes it's important for parents to put a time limit for up to one-hour of usage for their children. She wants to encourage parents that it's better to read actual books, or interact with their children, rather than have their eyes glued to a tablet screen.