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Toddlers Using Touchscreens Develop Better Motor Skills

Representative Image: istock

Representative Image: istock

Active scrolling of the screen would increase finer motor control in children, says a recent study.

Has your toddler started playing around with the touchscreen tablet, yet? It's good, if the child has, as his/her active scrolling of the screen would increase finer motor control, says a recent study. According to the study conducted at the University of London, early touchscreen use, in particular active scrolling, correlated with increased fine motor skills.

Researcher Tim J. Smith of Birbeck at University of London set up an online survey for parents to answer questions about their children's touchscreen use. This included questions about whether the toddlers used touchscreens, when they first used one besides how often and how long they used them. The survey also included specific questions to assess the development of the children, such as the age that they first stacked blocks -- which indicates fine motor skills -- or the age they first used two-word sentences - which indicates language development.

During the study, 715 families responded confirming that using touchscreen is extremely common in toddlers. "The study showed that majority of toddlers had daily exposure to touchscreen devices, increasing from 51.22 per cent at six to 11 months to 92.05 per cent at 19-36 months," Smith added.

In toddlers aged 19-36 months, the researchers found that the age that parents reported for their child's first actively scrolling a touchscreen was positively associated with the age that they were first able to stack blocks, a measure of fine motor control. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, also stated that the current generation of toddlers was adapting rapidly to new technology.

first published:September 15, 2016, 12:06 IST