How Gadgets and Digital Screens Are Harming Your Child

Introduction

Gone are the days when children spent time outdoors playing games of their choice. The only obsession of the current day kids is electronic gadgets. They never get tired of playing games, chatting, watching movies, or browsing. This obsession with the digital screen is becoming a matter of concern nowadays because of the adverse effects it has on the health of the children.

Adverse Health Consequences

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an average child spends around 8hrs/day with digital screens and electronic gadgets

Children are usually so engrossed with the gadgets that they don’t pay attention to the posture, screen time, screen distance and brightness. These factors are known to affect the vision of the individuals

Staring at digital screens for an extended time can result in
  • Dry eyes
  • Redness
  • Irritation of eyes
  • Difficulty focusing on studies
  • Neck pain
  • Refractive errors (near and farsightedness)
  • Blurry vision
  • Backache
  • Insomnia
  • An average individual blinks around 15 times/min. It was observed that while using these electronic gadgets, this blink rate reduces to less than 5 times/min.

    Not just this, too much of screen time in kids lesser than 4 yrs of age can affect the mental development of the child.

    How to safeguard your child from the adverse effects of digital screens

    1. Limit screen time

    Set clear time limits for children for the screen time. This should be no more than ½ hr for children under 2 years of age and less than 1-2 hrs for children 3-5 yrs of age.

    2. Encourage sports

    Encourage your children to play outdoor sports. It promotes not only the physical but also the mental development of the child.

    3. Choose healthier pacifiers

    Currently, the trend used by mothers for feeding children is the use of electronic gadgets. Never resort to gadgets for feeding children. Instead choose healthier alternatives like toys, coloring books, or storybooks.

    4. Ensure the right distance from the screen

    Teach your child to maintain a minimum distance of 20 inches from the screen. Do not allow them to sit closer to the TV.

    5. Eye check-up

    Every child should receive a preventive eye-check up at least once a year. Look out for signs of eye problems like headache, eye & neck pain, and squinting in your children.

    6. Play with your kid
    7. Reduce the use of electronics before bedtime. Avoid electronic gadgets in your children bedrooms

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