|Published:||Nov 13, 2013 10:36 PM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 14, 2013 7:08 AM EST|
FORT MYRES, FL.--Children and technology seem to go hand in hand.
Melanie Regan has two kids and live in Cape Coral. Regan's kids have all the gadgets, but she closely watches just how long they spend each day starring at a screen.
"A lot of kids that have a lot of time inside the home with the social media and electronics lack the social skills," said Regan.
"Anything over 3 hours a week is something to be monitored," said local psychiatrist, Dr. Omar Rieche.
Rieche says too much technology too early in life can harm a child's development of their social skills.
"They start to lose their ability to have empathy and not be aware of their own feelings and their emotions," said Dr. Rieche.
A new report from Common Sense Media, a research group, finds children own more devices than ever.
According to their report, in 2011 only 41% of children up to eight years old owned a smartphone, but in 2013 that jumped to 63%
They also say in 2011 only 8% of children up to 8 years old owned a tablet and now in 2013, it's up to 40%.
"You didn't use to be able to walk around with technology," said Early Childhoof professor Elaine Schaeffer.
Schaeffer says many parents may think sticking their children in front of education apps will help them get an edge in school.
"They are not aware that children are actually losing that edge," said Schaeffer.
Schaeffer also says for every hour a child sits in front of a digital device they miss out on learning 6-8 vocabulary words.
"It's huge when you look at the importance of brain development, the advancement of language," she said.
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