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Toddlers becoming techies: Good or bad?

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Playtime for toddlers is far different from the days of marbles and paper dolls.

Technology is the new thing and it can be a great tool for kids, but everywhere you look, it seems iPad and smartphone users are getting younger and younger.

When it comes to technology and toddlers is this a good or bad thing?

We went on the hunt for answers.

Like most families, the Bradys are a busy bunch, and sometimes giving an iPhone to one of their kids is necessary to keep the peace.

"We have 3 kids and one on the way, and we are on the run all the time," said Patty Brady. "We have to go to practices and sporting events where my 2-year-old doesn't want to be, and I can turn on an iPad and she can play games or look through pictures, and she's content."

For most parent, using technology is a convenience that has them wondering - does it hinder or help learning for toddlers?

"I definitely have some concerns about it," said Brady. "I've read a lot studies say there's some long time effects in socialization of children."

My own 2-year-old twins seem to love the iPhone as much as any other adult. They even have their own language when it comes to navigating my iPhone.

Dr. Glen Davis is a pediatrician at the South Bend Clinic and says there are great benefits of all this technology.

"There's some great applications for kids with developmental issues or great applications for kids or autism to help them communicate and some great learning apps," said Davis.

Davis recommends kids 2 and under have no technology at all, and for kids over 2-years-old - atmost 1-2 hours per day, and that's total screen time, meaning the iPad, television and computers.

Dr. Davis added, "Children who spend too much time on computer games maybe have some issues with inattention and definitely obesity."

He says kids need the real world more than the virtual world.

"I would rather have them out doing things that help stimulate their minds - building blocks, outside playing. They can work on their gross motor skills, all things in moderation."

For the Brady family, they say they will continue monitoring the tech world not just for Emma their toddler, but for all their kids.

"We have to set rules nothing is turned on till homework, practice is done, teeth are brushed," Patty Brady said.

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