Electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, televisions, and computers have become part of our daily lives. They are beneficial not just for adults but also for kids. However, it is critical to limit screen time for children as too much exposure to gadgets can cause serious problems to their health, behavior, and development.
Like many other things, gadgets have positive and negative impacts. With good guidance, these devices can be beneficial in increasing children’s senses, enhance their skills, and explore their topics of interest. Watching videos on gadgets help young kids learn new things as visual representations stimulate their senses. Playing games on the other hand improves hand-eye coordination, motivate children to win, and improve their analytical skills as they learn to strategize.
The bad effects usually come from extreme usage of these electronic devices. That is why parents’ supervision is very important when allowing kids to use gadgets. Especially as they are very prone to get addicted to these devices. There are many reasons why children can become obsessed with cellphones, computers, or gaming consoles.
It could be because their friends have gadgets making them want to compete with their friends on online games. This could then lead to children spending more time on digital games than physical games. But the most common reason is because parents’ hand over phone or other gadgets to keep their kids pre-occupied.
As we all know, parenting can be hard especially with young children as they are full of energy. Always running around, exploring things, shouting, or throwing tantrums which is normal. Handing over gadgets is often the most effective way for kids to sit and stay quiet. Allowing parents to enjoy a moment of peace or an opportunity to clean the house.
Unfortunately, it is not good to always rely on gadgets to make children behave well as too much exposure to these devices has harmful effects on children.
- Hinders Cognitive Development – Studies have shown that overexposure to gadgets can negatively affect a child’s brain development. It can cause cognitive delays, attention deficit, and learning problems. The human brain is rapidly developing during infancy and childhood stage. Thus, it is important for parents to be the one reading, singing, and talking to their kids during this critical stage of brain development. And not some fictitious character on TV shows.
- Leads to Obsession – Pacifying kids with gadgets can only lead to an obsession by them because these electronic devices are very entertaining. There are endless of videos to watch in the internet and games that are addictive. The obsession can lead to agitation and temper tantrums if the gadgets are taken away from them or when their parents refused to let them use the devices.
- Risks of Obesity – Physical activities is as important for kids as for Children need to run, jump, and play physically to burn calories and stay healthy. They should not be glued to cellphones or gaming consoles all the time! Child obesity can lead to chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease which they can carry even into adulthood.
- Restrains Social Relationships – The more time a child spends on gadgets, the lesser time he/she is able to create a bonding experience with other people. When a kid is given a handheld device, his/her entire focus is engaged with This takes away the child’s time and interest to do other activities including interacting and playing with family and friends. This can potentially make a child socially reclusive.
- Eye Problem – Long periods of glaring at the screens of gadgets can cause serious eye issues. The most common one is myopia or near-sightedness. In which the eyes have difficulty seeing objects at a distance. Another condition that might occur due to over digital screen exposure is dry eye disease. Which is a more serious problem that may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, and loss of vision. Watching videos or playing games in the screen for a long period of time can slow down blinking rate. Causing eye dryness as the tears are not distributed well over the surface of the eyes. Which is important to maintain enough moisture in the organ. Eye dry disease is manifested by: eye redness, itchiness, frequent blinking and rubbing of the eyes, burning sensation around the organ, a sandy feeling inside the eyes, light sensitivity, and moments of blurred vision.