Things to know if your child has an iPad or tablet

NEW research from Western Sydney University has revealed about 80% of one-year-olds are using technology regularly, with iPads and tablets increasingly becoming the birthday and Christmas gift of choice for children of this age.

Parents banking on support from the digital nanny can be assured from this latest research that technology can be used for effective development.

Dr Joanne Orlando, from the university's School of Education, says if managed responsibly by parents and carers, early technology use gives children new learning experiences that they can't readily get from traditional play and toys.

If you're briefing Santa on possible gift suggestions, Dr Orlando has outlined what parents need to know and do when it comes to children and technology use:

Look for apps that allow a child to be creative and pre-load them on to the device before placing the gift under the tree.

When purchasing apps throughout the year, keep in mind the range of apps the child already has, and help to introduce new interests to ensure activity on the device has a strong creative element.

Parents should spend time engaging with their children when they're using devices. Talk with the child about what they are doing.

Ensure settings are checked so that it filters content for young children.