London: Mothers, who traditionally turned to a toy or dummy to pacify a troublesome child, are now resorting to smartphones for restoring peace. According to research, more than one in four mothers admitted to handing over a phone to a crying or bored tot when they need entertaining.

And it has become more common than shoving a dummy in the kids' mouth or giving them a soft toy or even a bottle in these high tech times. According to Asda, range of apps for youngsters, including games, puzzles and educational programmes, means smartphones have now become a parent's best friend.

The study found 27 per cent of mothers give their phones to their children to keep them entertained.
And although 40 per cent of these restrict playtime to no longer than ten minutes, 10 percent admitted leaving their children to play with their mobile for anything up to two hours.

The poll of 1,650 mothers found 25 per cent stick to a bottle of milk or other drink as the main way of keeping their child entertained. One in five (21 per cent) resort to a favourite soft toy and only nine percent use a dummy as a pacifier.

"My phone is the boys' favourite toy, sometimes the only way to keep them quiet is to hand it over," a daily quoted Louise Pearson, mother of two, of Bishop's Stortford, Herts, as saying.

"I have a range of apps on it for them to play with from puzzles and games to educational programmes," she said.

Mothers in Scotland are most likely to use their smartphone as a child's pacifier - 40 per cent of moms north of the border do it, said Asda. "No longer are mobile phones just a device for keeping in touch," David Fletcher, Asda's mobile phone expert said. "To see them also used as an "electronic pacifier" is no surprise with the large variety of games and entertainment now available to download for children," he added.


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