The use of interactive screen media such as smartphones and tablets by young children is increasing rapidly.
However, research regarding the impact of this portable and instantly accessible source of screen time on learning, behavior, and family dynamics has lagged considerably behind its rate of adoption.
Pediatric guidelines specifically regarding mobile device use by young children have not yet been formulated, other than recent suggestions that a limited amount of educational interactive media use may be acceptable for children aged <2 years. New guidance is needed because mobile media differs from television in its multiple modalities (eg, videos, games, educational apps), interactive capabilities, and near ubiquity in children’s lives. Recommendations for use by infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children are especially crucial, because effects of screen time are potentially more pronounced in this group. The aim of this commentary is to review the existing literature, discuss future research directions, and suggest preliminary guidance for families. Read more