We are in modern times where life without technology is beyond thinking. Especially for the newer generation, who are getting born amidst the technological advancements?
We are in the process of raising a generation of children whose lifestyles are electronic devices driven. From being a luxury year back, computers, smartphones and tablets are have become a necessity these days for children. They are nearly inseparable from them.
Children and Electronic devices
In today’s world of technology, you as parents want your children to be ahead of others and excel in everything. It is easy to believe that making our kids tech-savvy is essential in today’s age. And hence often we as parents let our kids indulge in the gadgets, even at an early.
But we also can find parents in today’s world who fight hard to keep their children away from smartphones, computers or tablets.
Some families have taken long term loans for the unemployed with no guarantor. It is even more important for such families to keep their kids away from the hazards of technology gadgets.
What we don’t realize are the harmful effects of using these devices for longer hours and so closely. Let us unearth and understand a few of the risks.
It is more than just an addiction
We know that smartphones and tablets are an addiction. Especially to the kids at their tender age, with so much media available at just one click, it is addicting. But what’s more harmful than addiction is its impact on the mind and health.
Being exposed to electronic gadgets slows down the development of social and emotional skills. Since the children remain attached to screens, living and experiencing emotions and situations virtually and vicariously.
It not only slows down but impacts the development of motor skills in kids. Distractions, irritation, frustration etc., are the basic issues faced with kids overexposed to electronic gadgets and screens.
Apart from mental & emotional risks, there are a lot of health-related risks too.
Bad Posture, Back Aches, Neck and Shoulder Strain
You all know and have seen how the body posture disfigures or hunches by looking over a handheld device. The usage of such devices over a more extended period affects the posture of the body permanently. The spine starts to curve and hence makes the body stoop.
Not only the posture, but the muscles of the shoulder and back start complaining soon.
Since you use these devices a lot, you tend to affect your whole body with poor ergonomics. Especially for kids, rather than development, their body parts start complaining sooner than others. Especially, arms and neck, sitting for more extended hours lead to slouching lazily.
Laptop computers are even worse. They have the screen and keyboards closer than the table desktops. Hence the shoulders, arms, hands and neck remain under stress and starts complaining sooner.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes stiffness, pain and swelling in the fingers and wrist. The introduction of devices at an early age to kids often lead to this injury. You may find your child holding the awkward mouse away.
He might be twisting his wrist of feeling pain in the fingers by excessive use of a mouse or the tablet screen.
Longer usage of the mouse, continuous cell phone usage, texting for extended periods, too much typing on the laptop keyboard, etc., lead to this syndrome in kids.
This can be serious as it can injure nerves and tendons. It can even become worse than holding a pen would hurt the child.
Long hours of screen time leads to dry eyes. Your child may experience a burning sensation and watery eyes.
The bright light of screens, contrasts and glare and flickering images makes a game or video exciting. But it takes a huge toll on your eyes. The effort the eye muscle has to put in to stay focused while looking at the screen is too much.
It not only strains the eyes but weakens the muscle too. Kids get so engrossed that they are less likely to blink, which makes it even worse.
The risk of developing Myopia is higher amongst the kids exposed to screens for extended hours.
Headaches are not so common in children. But with increased or too much screen time, children are prone to headaches. With elongated screen time, the tension in the muscle and at the base of the skull leads to these headaches in children.
Stress is relatively unknown in children. Kids become indulgent because of the amount of time they spend on screens. Various studies have shown that the overuse of screens increases stress levels. This stress can lead to severe health issues when prolonged.
Hence, these days, you hear about heart-related issues, disturbed sleeping patterns, indigestion, and perturbed emotions in children.
Kids from families where the loans have been taken from direct lenders with no guarantor are even more prone to stress-related symptoms.
Spending too much time on devices is not only tiring for the brain but for the body too. Mainly for kids, it exhausts the whole body.
Sticking to screen for more extended periods even reduces blood circulation. Hence it results in children getting tired without much physical activity.
Because of being glued to screens and devices, physical activity has reduced a lot in kids. They prefer to play virtually on phones and laptops rather than in the park or playground.
In fact, these devices are often called good babysitters as they can keep kids still for a long. But it leads to a lack of physical activity, which is a significant concern in a child’s early years of development.
As a result, the first thing that we see is an increase in weight. Obesity-related diseases or issues are now being seen with kids (which was never the case in earlier times).
Technology is good in specific ways. But introducing and overexposing your child to electronic devices and screens has got more adverse effects than benefits.
At this tender age, they should be exposed to physical activity, social interactions, etc., which helps a lot in overall physical, mental, and emotional development.