Overuse of digital devices is bad for kids

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Incidences of children suffering from obesity and related health problems like diabetes and heart diseases are on the rise the world over. This can be attributed to the time spent on the couch watching TV instead of going out and playing.

6 year old Ananya is an expert at using her father’s mobile phone. Her mother proudly speaks about how well she has taken to it. Her 10 year old brother Anand is adept at the PC. He spends hours in front of it playing games, surfing the net and passing time on social networking sites.

This is a typical scenario in every household today. Electronic devices have made our lives so much easier. It is a boon for a mother to have a cell-phone handy when her baby cries. When the child is having a cranky time, it is so convenient to just switch on the cartoon channel on the television or allow him to play a game on the PC, isn’t it?

Studies show that nearly half of the kids of about 2 years of age watch television for more than 2 hours per day. 12% of 2 to 4 year olds use a computer everyday and half of all children under 8 years have access to a high-end mobile phone.

Putting your child in front of a TV while you go about doing your work is not educational, even though he may be watching the Discovery Channel. It is plain entertainment for him and does not have any educational value. Think about it.

Is this something to be proud about?

The same study also chronicles the potential health hazards of all these electronic devices on our little ones.

Over use of digital devices is divesting the kids’ of their creativity. Mobile phones, tablets, iPads, computers are all mind numbing gadgets that do nothing to enhance the brain activity. Too much time spent using such activities hampers creative growth, problem solving skills and analytical thinking skills.

Kids earlier used to spend time outside the home after school. Be it football, hide-n-seek, catching the ball or just climbing trees, kids would earlier go out and have enough of their share of physical activity.
Today with so much time spent sitting glued to a spot, kids are becoming couch potatoes. Incidences of children suffering from obesity and related health problems like diabetes and heart diseases are on the rise the world over.

The electronic devices have electromagnetic radiations that are absorbed by the tissue closest to it. Though more research on the matter is definitely needed, random studies conducted show that over use of cell phones can be a cause for glioma, or brain tumor. Too much of plugging in the headphones and listening to songs on the iPod that is the trend among today’s youngsters can be the cause for deafness and other hearing problems.

Too much of time spent in front of the TV or the PC leads to a disconnected family. There is not healthy interaction between parents and the children. This can have an impact on the overall psychological development of children.