Addiction to Digital Devices Can Bar a Child's Future ?

Addiction to Digital Devices Can Bar a Child's Future ?

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 8 Jul 2015 - 14:58


Is it worth it? Barring a child's overall development for addiction to digital devices? The overwhelming exposure to electronic screens among children - from video games, TV, to mobile phones and tablets - is making a huge negative impact on the health of these children.

A lot of children even avoid eating, sleeping or using the bathroom and spend hours consistently hooked to these devices, which is affecting them not only physically but mentally too. Experts consider this unhealthy for normal development of the child.

Harmful effects of addiction to Digital DevicesSuch children tend to experience unhealthy weight gain and depression as they follow a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, they may also experience disrupted eyesight at a very early age. It also takes a toll on the child’s psyche.

Though addiction to internet is not considered a clinical diagnosis yet, it is a cause for serious concern as the child is tuned out from life. In a sense, the child can find it difficult to interact even with family members, leave alone social interactions. This can have serious psychological implications on the child if neglected for long periods.

It is also believed that children who play a lot of video games, watch too much of TV, tend to become aggressive, violent, less empathic in general, and are also more likely to be unreasonable. They tend to lack good values and qualities such as befriending fellow beings, developing patience, showing kindness, bonding, caring and emotional balance.

Doctor Recommends: Guidelines recommend at least one hour of adult-led, structured physical activity and one hour of unstructured free play time per day, according to lead author Dr. Pooja Tandon, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"Children need daily opportunities for physical activity not only for optimal weight status, but because physical activity promotes numerous aspects of health, development and well-being," Tandon said. She adds, “I repeatedly observed that children’s health issues were closely linked to complex factors outside the walls of the exam room”.

"Physical activity, which in this age occurs typically in the form of play, promotes cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and mental health and is associated with academic achievement."

Experts recommend that children below two years of age should not be exposed to any type of digital device or electronic media, as this is an age when the brain develops rapidly. The child needs that physical-touch of their parents, siblings and friends, rather than an electronic-touch.

Parent's Involvement: Are parents cognizant of this? Every parent must ask for themselves. The present-day parenting is at stake for lifestyle habits inculcated in their children. Oblivious of the outcome, most parents hand out their own cellphones to their toddlers in an attempt to keep themselves occupied and don’t object them, as they want some time away from their child’s distraction.

Either because of lack of awareness among parents about the potential harms these devices or addiction cause to their children, or because of their lackadaisical approach to the upbringing of a child, be it any reason, the poor child is the sufferer.

Remember, 8-10 years age group is an impressionable age, where a child picks up whatever is taught to them, good or bad and has a long lasting effect. Outdoor activities are a must to engage their body and mind with nature and with people around them for better interaction and understanding of life.
So, who else but the parents are responsible?

More time spent with children by parents, and out-door activities can by far, help the child have a more rounded growth & development and a good future, rather than take a toll on the child’s life, later destroying the parents’ peace too.

That crucial, quality time with your little one cannot be  bought with money, but can mean a world to the child, and pave his/her future. Stop, pause and act before it’s too late, its worth it !


Reference: The New York Times, Seattle Times.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.