It is common nowadays to see kids playing with handheld devices like cell phones and tablets. But scientists warn that children below 12 should not be allowed to use these gadgets.
There is no denying about the way technology has helped and changed our lives. But most of us don’t know how these gadgets are affecting our kids. You should limit how much your child uses or handles a cell phone or tablet because these devices can interfere with his/her development.
According to research, technology has been causing harm to our kids. Despite knowing this many parents continue to allow their kids to use these devices without any restrictions. Such gadgets have allowed infants, toddlers and kids access and enter the viral world where there is absence of the key factors required for development, learning and behavior.
Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children
Here are the most important reasons why your child should not be allowed access to these handled gadgets:
1. Faster Brain Development
From age 0 to 12 years, the brain of your child will grow triple in size. It will keep developing at a very fast pace through these years. The development of brain in the early years will be based on environmental stimulus or the shortage of it. The stimulation for brain development because of overexposure to new technological innovations has been found to be linked with:
- Excessive functions
- Lack of attention
- Cognitive delays
- Enhanced impulsivity
- Learning impairment
- Reduction in ability for self regulation
2. Slowed Down Development
Current day technology reduces movement for both adults and children. This can cause delayed development in kids. Because of this, almost one in three kids entering school suffer from the following:
- Delayed development
- Negative impact on literacy
- Negative impact on academic success
With movement, kids develop learning and attention based abilities. Keep in mind that technology should not be used to this level in kids below 12. Otherwise, it can prove to be harmful for the development and learning abilities of your child.
3. Widespread Obesity
Kids who have gadgets in their rooms are 30% more likely to suffer from obesity. 25% of all Canadian and 33% of all U.S. kids are considered to be obese. There are further complications of being obese.
Almost 30% of kids who is obese are likely to become diabetic. Such kids also have higher risks of heart attack and stroke. Overall, this can have a serious impact on the life expectancy of the child. It is a serious point that the current generation of kids (21st century) could be the first generation that may not be able to live longer than their parents.
Around 60% of all parents don’t keep an eye on the use of technology by their kids. Around 75% of children are allowed by their parents to use technology devices in their rooms. That’s 3 out of every 4 children. The age group 9 to 10 in this category suffer from sleep deprivation which further affects their grades.
5. Aggressive Behavior
When exposed to violent media, children can develop aggressive behavior. Children should not be exposed to visuals of various types of violence, including sexual and physical, such as in Grand Theft Auto V games. Such games and TV shows display murder, mutilation, torture, rape and sex.
Media violence has been classified by the U.S. government as Public Health Risk because it affects aggression in children. Media is also reporting increased usage of seclusion rooms and restraints for kids who have shown aggressive behavior.
6. Mental Illness
The over usage of technology has been found to become a casual factor in the increasing cases of:
- Child anxiety
- Attachment disorder
- Attention deficit
- Problematic child behavior
- Bipolar disorder
One in six children in Canada have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness.
7. Digital Dementia
The fast supply of media content to kids’ brain is contributing to attention deficit and lack of concentration. It is also affecting their memory because the brain cuts the neuron tracks towards the frontal cortex. When your child cannot pay attention to tasks at hand, he/she cannot learn.
Addition of more technology to your child’s life will detach you from your child. In the absence of parental attachment, kids become more attached to their devices. This can lead to addiction. According to studies, one out of eleven children between 8 and 18 are suffering from addiction to technology.
9. Emission of Radiation
The WHO has already classified cell phones to be category 2B risks due to the radiation emitted by them (May 2011). This makes them possible carcinogen.
Dr. Anthony Miller of the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health suggested in 2013, after his research, to reclassify exposure to radio frequency as 2A. 2A refers to ‘probably carcinogen’, which makes it an even bigger threat.
10. Negative Impact on Children’s Future
Kids raised on technology (and even receiving their education on it) are looking forward to a technological world that is not sustainable. It doesn’t have the power to teach your child the practical life lessons and skills required for survival. If you allow your child to overuse technology, it will have a negative impact on their future.
11. Eye Problems
When kids stare at screens for long hours, they will easily suffer from eye problems. It could cause the development of computer vision syndrome. When you put a limit to the amount of time they can spend on screen (30 minutes), it can help in preventing eye problems.