New Warning About Toddlers and Smartphones, Tablets

Experts worry about the effects touchscreen devices could have on children's development.
3:00 | 04/08/14

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Transcript for New Warning About Toddlers and Smartphones, Tablets
There's been a rise of little kids playing with smartphones and tablets. We can all relate. They snatch it out of your hands. But experts worry about the impact that screens can have on your child's development. ABC's Paula Faris has our story. Reporter: Little abbey likes to find fruit. And one of Charlie's favorite toys is his mommy's tablet. These tots are toddler techies. We're all guilty of that. Definitely. It is easy. If you are the parent of multiple kids. And I am. But you have to monitor it. Reporter: According to a recent study by common sense media, 38% of babies under 2 had used tablets or smartphones. That's up from 10% in 2011. Now, companies are cashing in with a potty, a stroller compartment, even a toddler seat. But developmental experts are asking, should children this young be playing with devices. We have a potential crisis. Reporter: Tovah Klein runs the toddler development center in New York City. It takes away what they need most. The interaction. And technology puts them on a one-on-one, head down, no eye contact. And information being thrown at them. Reporter: She says tablets and smartphones are so new, there's no way to know what kind of neurological impact it may have on children. But father, Robert sweetman, says sometimes it's the only thing that works. It's a great bribery tool. I can use the kindle to get him in the stroller. To get out the door. Reporter: We reached out to the toy industry association and individual toymakers who told us that digital toys and electronic devices can benefit a child. But that it's up to the adult to choose those items, supervise and engage with the child. What should you do at home? Tovah Klein recommends limiting screen time for under 2 to 10 to 15 minutes. And never let it occupy your toddler outdoors. And don't use it as a silencer or pacifier. You got three-points. Yes. Reporter: For "Good morning America," Paula Faris, ABC news, New York. All right, Paula. We asked what you think in our "Gma" flash poll. Do you think kids that are 2 years old, should they use tablets? You say yes, 17%. And no, 83%. How many have left your toddlers with tablets? If everyone was being honest, I'll bet it's 100% and 0%. You're in a jam. We want to talk to Dr. Jennifer Ashton about this study. Toddlers, technology. How dangerous is it developmentally for kids under 2? Full disclosure. Been there, done that. Okay. Still doing it. The problem, medically, is we don't have two decades of long-term data on this. And we do know that the first two to three years of life are critical for brain development. And so, the concern is, if they're spending a lot of time looking at a screen, what are they not spending a lot of time looking at, which is a human face. Anything out of balance is bad. But are there any benefits, perhaps? I think the obvious one, George, they will develop an aptitude for technology. And it's here to stay. They can be programmers. That happens all the time. That's correct. That goes on in my house. Do you talk to moms-to-be about this? I try to minimize it. But they gravitate towards it. Until we actually did this piece, I learned something preparing for this piece. I hadn't been speaking to moms about it. I will now. We prepare so much for rearing children, this has to be a part of it. And I would like an adult iPod holder for my potty. Okay. Somebody's going to get on that right now. Is there something to the flashing of the screen that we've been warned about that, sort of A.D.D. There may be. When we look 20 years down the road, we'll have more answers. Jennifer Ashton. Thanks for full disclosure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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