Experts have warned that parents who allow babies and toddlers to access tablet computers for several hours a day are in danger of causing dangerous long term effects.

The youngest known patient being treated is a four-year-old girl. Her parents enrolled her for compulsive behavior therapy after she became increasingly distressed and inconsolable when the iPad was taken away from her.

That's the word from Dr Richard Graham of the United Kingdom, who launched the  first technology addiction program three years ago. He also said he believed there are many more addicts of her age.

Dr Graham said that young technology addicts experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics or heroin addicts, when the devices were taken away. He warned that the condition prevented young people from forming normal social relationships, leaving them drained by the constant interaction.

We visited with Darcy Jensen of Prairie View Prevention Services of Sioux Falls. Darcy shared some important information.

Computers are a good thing. They provide great educational information. But children can in fact form a dangerous addiction with the use of computers!

Darcy offered a list of signs to be watching for that would indicate a problem:

  • Loss of concentration
  • Becoming irritated when interrupted while using computer
  • Becoming isolated from people
  • Failure to complete tasks
  • Expressing feeling of guilt or becoming defensive when confronted about computer use

Darcy offered a couple of solutions that you can implement:

  • Keep the computer out in the open for easy monitoring of usage
  • Set time limits for usage
  • Also credit 'earn back time' or bonus time for doing a good job completing tasks, chores, etc.
  • Set-up a password for access so you can be in control