There are different accounts to what visual electronic media in childhood does to the children. In one study there appeared to be a link in infants/toddlers that viewing electronic devices negatively impacted their attention (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Research has also shown that there is little, if any benefit to TV viewing, but it does take away from other activities that provide proper stimulation for cognitive development, especially if it was entertainment and/or violent (the more violent the greater the impact on attention) (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The most important thing is to make sure that the adults are interacting with the children, even if there is an electronic device being utilized.
There are some positive outcomes from introduction to electronic devices though. Introducing children to electronic devices can help with academics, the more experience they receive, the better they do (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). There is also improvements in vision and fine motor skills through the use of games, but like what was stated before, these were on older children, not infant/toddlers (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). If you are wanting to introduce electronics to children, it is best to wait until they are after the age of 2 (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). As they get older, there may be more desire to spend ample time on the electronics. This is when the guardian should set time limits on the media device so it doesn’t interfere with other needed areas of development (i.e. academics)(Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). It is also important to monitor who the children are in contact with online, and to try and help the children get a better understanding of programs (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The time spent on the computer, or other media devices, should be utilized for development, not strictly entertainment. Parent interaction is still important.
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals. Harlow: Pearson Education.