Hi-tech toys to make kids smarter 'may actually be doing them harm'

Melbourne, Sep 28 (ANI): Next time you plan to buy a high-tech toy for your kid, think again-as they are likely to harm them.

Top-selling teddies that talk, toddler laptops, and interactive baby games may be a lot of fun for the kids but could be damaging if used as electronic babysitters, doctors have warned.

Doctors have said that these toys can cause sensory overload and shorten attention spans.

More than 20 per cent of toys now have some electronic component and are the top of most kids' wish lists, according to market research group GFK OzToys.

John Wray, of the Royal Australian College of Physicians said such toys entertained the child rather than helped foster imagination and develop social skills.

And those playing with the electronic gadgets are missing out on invaluable interaction with others, he added.

Wray said some children were particularly sensitive to sensory overload from prolonged use of electronic toys.

Developmental psychologist Irina Verenikina said techno toys should not be used to baby sit children.

"If it is over-used and it substitutes communication from parents it's really bad," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying.

However, Beverly Jenkin of the Australian Toy Association said the demand for techno toys was a natural reflection of the world we live in.

"Parents see this as helpful and at least anecdotally parents do see some effect on development.

"We are doing our children a real disservice if we do not prepare them for the world they are living in," she said. (ANI)

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