Many parents find it easier to feed their children in front of the television. Come weekends and children are handed over tablets and smartphones to keep themselves occupied while parents meet friends, finish their weekly chores or take time off to relax and unwind. However, keeping kids occupied using technology may not be the best idea.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics, infants aged under two should not have any exposure to technology, children between the ages of three and five years should have restricted exposure of less than an hour per day and those above six years shouldn’t access the phone for more then two hours a day! Here’s how gizmos and phones affect your children.
1) Gizmos Affect Brain Growth: A child’s brain grows the fastest (almost triples) between the age of zero and two years. Research has shown that when the child is overexposed to technology and gizmos, it affects attention span and can bring about ADD in later years. It also lends to cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and inability to transform mental abilities into academic learning. Research also proves that too much time spent on a gizmo reduces concentration and memory.
2) Gizmos Cause Development Problems: One of the biggest problems associated with a handheld device is that it restricts movement. Children are glued to their chairs and the only movement one sees is in the thumb and fingers! This finally goes on to create trouble with development of muscular functions. The overuse of technology also makes children social loners—unable to have a normal conversation with people.
3) Overuse Can Lead to Obesity: Children who are not active tend to collect more fat and end up being prone to obesity and lifestyle-related ailments like diabetes, cardiac trouble and other circulatory problems in their later years. One study even proved that fat cells are developed until the age of 16 and this is when children need to be most active.
4) Bedtime Use Can Lead to Sleep Problems: Most children take their gizmos to bed and there can be nothing worse than this. Not only does this affect sleep patterns (children don’t put away the games and thus delay their sleep cycle), but the continuous radiation from the gizmos and Wi-Fi connectivity can also be harmful.
5) Difficulty In Content Monitoring: Most games have violence and this is said to increase aggression in children. What’s more, children start to believe that using slang, fighting and physical violence are acceptable behaviours as all the games they play have this content. It is thus very important for parents to monitor every single download and game before the child accesses it.
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