One in three toddlers uses tablet before they can talk

In years gone by, mums and dads everywhere have waited eagerly for that magical moment - baby's first words. But according to new research, talking now comes second to tech amongst kids.

Tech-savvy toddlers on the rise

Pic: Getty

A survey commissioned by US pressure group Common Sense Media found that tech-savvy toddlers are on the rise, and nearly a third of children learns how to use a mobile phone or tablet computer before they can talk.

The poll of 1,463 parents revealed that 29 per cent start using gadgets at the tender toddling age, and 70 per cent have mastered using computers, smartphones and tablets by the time they start primary school. And by the age of nine, the average child will have sent 116 texts and 85 emails.

Some 38 per cent of little ones under the age of two have used iPhones or Kindles for playing games or watching films, compared with just ten per cent in 2011.

The average time a child under eight years old spends on gadgets has risen from five minutes a day two years ago to 15 minutes in 2013.

Vicky Rideout, author of the report, 'Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America, 2013', wrote: "I was blown away by the rapidity of the change. IPhones and tablets are game changers because they are so easy to use.

"While there was some floor on how young you could go with computers and video games, a young child can touch a picture, can open an app, or swipe the screen."

The research also revealed that the average child aged two to four spends two hours a day in front of screens, be it watching TV, movies or using computers.

Despite parents saying they believed their children would benefit from using technology at an early age, 57 per cent admitted they had concerns for their safety.

What do you think? A valuable educational tool or too much too soon? Leave your comments below...