The modern era is the time of various mobile devices, computers in every home, and the internet, so we encounter with these on a daily basis.
Yet, even though technology has its huge advantages, the constant use of these devices by children seriously harms their health, learning, and development.
We reveal 11 reasons why you should keep your child away from your mobile device or tablet:
- Radiation exposure
The head of a child has two times greater capacity to absorb radiation, and the bone marrow of its skull absorbs ten times the radiation absorbed by an adult. This exposure raises the risks of developing cancer and brain tumor, and severely affects the development of the brain.
- Social Interactions and Anxiety
As children become more prone to using technology, they fail to develop face-to-face social skills. They easily express their emotions and thoughts by texting and messaging, and cannot learn to express and understand tone, touch, body language, voice, and facial expressions.
This also influences their skills to communicate and have meaningful interactions and relationships, and solve problems.
- Poor Sleep
Children need more sleep than adult people, and the use of mobile phones and screens interferes with the quality and quantity of sleep. This leads to serious negative consequences on their mental and physical health and development.
You cannot control everything your child encounters on the Internet, so it might easily become exposed to violent media, especially via online games, that will lead to antisocial tendencies and aggressive behavior.
- Learning Difficulties
Children easily access to various entertainment forms on the internet, so they become distracted and face difficulties to pay attention at school. This, in turn, causes impaired visual memory, inability to focus, reduced imagination, and less productive work.
- Eye Strain
Prolonged use of screens might cause digital eye strain in both adults and children, and children are at an increased risk. This is also accompanied by sore eyes, headaches, and blurred vision.
- Mental Health
Cell phones impair the mental health of children, and there are numerous factors linked to the use of cell phones and constant connection that affect their mental health:
- Cyberbullying: Children are at an increased risk of cyberbullying, which causes anxiety, depression, extreme isolation, and even suicide.
- Sexual pressure: Children are also exposed to suggestive images and suggestions to take part in “sexting”, long before they can understand these topics, which can contribute to mental and emotional distress, and anxiety.
- Facebook Depression: Children are not aware that people usually share their highlight reel on social media, so they can easily become depressed about their appearance, life, and abilities.
- Targeted advertising: Social media and other websites gather information about every individual and then display ads that would be interesting, and children might face media and advertisements that they are not able to deal with or process in the right way.
- Reduced Health
Researchers have found that media and technology use leads to illnesses in children and adolescents, as well as mental and emotional difficulties. Children become more susceptible to pain, depression, and social and learning disabilities.
- Poor Posture
The long hours spent on the computers or cell phones deteriorate the body posture of children, which in turn might increase the risk of certain musculoskeletal disorders.
- Increased Risk of Obesity
Studies have found a link between the use of technology and the raised BMI in children and adolescents, which is mostly a result of the prolonged hours spent sitting.
Moreover, children who spend most of their time using cell phones, tablets, computers, and video games, tend to snack more and thus consume more calories.
Certain media types have been linked to the frontostriatal pathway, which is the same neural pathway that is related to drug addiction and behavioral disorders, like gambling, so the unlimited access to the internet, social media, and video games might raise the risk of developing these problems.
Prevent Your children from Becoming Addicted to Screens
We suggest several ways to prevent your children from spending too much time in front of the screens:
- Set time limits on TV and internet time, for instance, the children can use the cell phone or tablet only half an hour daily.
- Encourage your children to spend more time with their friends outside when the weather is nice.
- You need to set rules about the time they can get a cell phone, for example, when they are in high school.
- If your kid owns a cell phone, you can limit the time it spends on the internet by allowing access only when it is connected to Wi-Fi.
- Set rules about when your child can use the cell phone, for instance, only during his free time, not while having lunch or dinner, or when your friends or relatives visit you.
- Your child should use the cell phone until half an hour before going to bed. Instead, encourage your children to start reading before going to sleep.