Scientists have discovered that most toddlers can use a touchscreen device by the age of two – a fact that most parents already know.
According to the Daily Mail, the researchers also found that some children as young as 12 months old are even using smartphones or tablets.
A team of scientists analysed the ability of toddlers to swipe, unlock or search on a modern touchscreen device. Their study found that the average age at which most toddlers could carry out the tasks was around their second birthday.
Whilst health officials for years have warned that parents should limit the time that children spend staring at a screen, the authors of the new study from Cork University Hospital in Ireland, suggest that instead of being unhealthy for a child, time spent on touchscreen devices could actually benefit their development.
The researchers told The Daily Mail that, “Because the gadgets require touch and feel, their interactivity means they are not dissimilar to traditional forms of play.”
The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal, involved 82 children aged between 12 months and three years. Using questionnaires, filled in by parents, the researchers found that 82 per cent of parents owned a smart device, 87 per cent of whom let their child play with it.
Answers were indeed interesting; 50 per cent of parents said their child could unlock the screen while 91 per cent could swipe and 64 per cent could search the device for features.
The team found the youngest regular users of touch screens were aged 12 months and the average age at which children had mastered all three skills was 24 months.
Are your youngsters masters of touchscreens? What age were they using a touchscreen device? Share your experiences with us!