It seems that these hi-tech gadgets have cast a spell on the children just like the Pied Piper did on them! Children have become these little techno junkies! And parents seem to be unaware of the fact that the massive exposure to screens is harmful to the children. Since every modern household has an essential subscription to one of the internet packages such as Optimum Internet, the children have easy access to technology. Parents are busy in their hectic lifestyles, trying to accomplish their deadlines at work and commitments at home. Therefore, they don’t consider leaving children with the gadgets something to worry about.
It would be wrong to say that the use of technology and gadgets for children is entirely harmful. Technology can actually prove to be helpful for children to learn cognitive and social skills. Gadgets can be good friends and bad enemies at the same time. In order to gain the merits of technology’s positive edge, every parent should have thorough knowledge about the safe screen time and other related things.
Is Keeping them Completely Away From Gadgets an Option?
The simple and straightforward answer would be NO! This is the age of information and it is essential for every child to take the benefit of gadgets and technology. Keeping your child away from them would probably result in making him the odd one out amongst his generation of kids.
The things of concern here are different. But keeping them completely away from the gadgets is not a practical and wise option. Neither is it the solution to anything. The valid concerns would be:
- How to let your kids have the essential benefits of gadgets while saving them from getting addicted to the infinite entertainment options online?
- What is the safe screen time for children according to their exact age?
- In what ways is a child influenced by the exposure to gadgets?
- What could be the effects on a child’s brains – according to psychologists?
And the list goes on. These are the actual and genuine concerns. Parents, adults, and teachers should enlighten themselves with this kind of common knowledge.
While everyone is thoroughly convinced about the positive aspects of gadgets and technology, we will discuss some downsides too.
Why Kids And Gadgets Together Is a Bad Idea?
The most popular gadget-related kids’ activities are gaming, streaming movies, chatting and surfing. Here’s what these activities involve:
- All of these essentially involve staying glued to the gadget screens
- Children tend to ignore the important aspects such as brightness, safe screen distance, posture, and other while they are completely absorbed in what they are doing. These things are important to their health and particularly vision
- Staring continuously at electronic gadgets can cause discomfort, irritable eyes, dry eyes, and loss of focus in kids
- Bad postures can result in backaches and neck pains. If adults get headaches with long screen times, then it is common sense that the children are more sensitive
- You need to minimize the use of gadgets for your children. And the first step is to thoroughly know why and how
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention enlightens that an average kid spends almost 8 hours per day staring at electronic screens. The use of gadgets increases further with age. There are various research pieces, which indicate that children may suffer from long-term vision issues. Except the video games and TV, most of the new fancy gadgets have emerged in the last two decades. And their popularity spread like wildfire!
- By now, we only know the short-term effects and we are still unaware of the long-term effects
- Research indicates that children who are spending a lot of time staring the gadget screens are more likely to develop conditions like Myopia, which is nearsightedness
- Luckily, the effect of screens is transient and eyes recover quickly after being involved in a non-screen activity
- Some other symptoms are burning sensation in eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, double vision, headaches, and posture-related concerns
- Doctors have come up with a term ‘computer vision syndrome’ for all these symptoms
Things You Should Do
- Instead of worrying, you need to learn ways to create a happier and healthier family environment. You need to come up with interesting and creative activities to keep your children engaged. Naturally, they will then spend lesser time on the gadgets
- Limit their screen time. Know the safe screen times for children of every age. Google is your friend here
- Encourage them to play outdoors and interact with the fellow kids
- Stop using gadgets and technology as babysitters. And stop taking undue advantage of your subscription to one of the Optimum Cable packages or any ISP for that matter
- While using gadgets, ensure a safe distance. Encourage them to blink often and take breaks regularly
- Don’t let them use gadgets in the sunlight or in the dark
Good luck with efficient parenting!