How Smartphones Affect Your Child’s Health

Smartphones have become an essential commodity in our lives. I, in fact, do not remember, when was the last time,  I saw an adult without one. Many parents knowingly or unknowingly – hand over their smartphones to their children to keep them busy and engaged. 

Ways Smartphones Affect Your Child’s Health

As children have a small head and a thin skull, it makes it easier for the radiation emitted by smartphones to penetrate deeper into their brains.

Smartphones have undoubtedly replaced outdoor games. Many children prefer to play on their phone, rather than step out and play like we used to do during our childhood. Many children cannot think of a life without beyond these devices. Unfortunately, some parents – advocate the same. 

Have you ever thought about how mobile technology affects your child’s mental health? A lot of research has gone through and new evidence shows that this technology is harmful and this means that is essential for parents to recognize the possible effects smartphones can have on your child’s mental health.

Smartphones are not bad but it’s the effect of excessive amounts of screen time your kids are being exposed to.

Let us quickly look at the adverse effects of a smartphone on your child’s health – 

Smartphones cause Lack of sleep – 

A child who spends about 2-3 hours a day is likely to get 28% less sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your child’s emotions, learning and grasping ability and as well as mood – (anxiety, stress or restlessness) 

The children who are exposed to smartphones also face a challenge in shortened attention spans.

Lack of social skills

Children who use smartphones a lot gradually lose their interest in social skills. They find communication and building relationships extremely challenging. The mobile technology takes their ability to explore the world through interaction and play.

Promotes a sedentary lifestyle

When children keep sitting – it promotes laziness. Research suggests that children get at least 1 hour of vigorous outdoor play. A child sitting with his smartphone misses this opportunity to go out and explore the world around him.

Pain in shoulders, neck or hands

The use of Smartphones requires children to bend their heads down to look at the phone while moving their wrists and fingers in unnatural ways. Doing this regularly and for continued sessions can cause pain and even-lasting damage to these parts of the body. 

Brain function damage

Numerous studies have pointed that extreme amounts of screen time damages the brain by causing gray matter atrophy, threatening white matter integrity, decreasing cortical thickness, diminishing cognitive functioning and debilitating dopamine function.

Even children who are not technically “addicted” to mobile devices are at risk of suffering damage to their developing brains if they’re regular users who spend several hours a day using them.

You may also like to read – Managing Screen Time in Children

How can you help your child?

Set passwords – 

As parents, we may not be around our children always and hence it is recommended that your smart devices are password protected. 

Set an example 

Your child will emulate, what you do and show. If you expect them NOT to use a smartphone, make sure that you also avoid using it in front of them. 

Restrict use 

Until the age of 2, screen time is to be avoided and after that, it can be restricted. Talk to your child and let them know – how if they want to use the phone, it WILL be time bound.

Never use a smart phone during meal times

Your child should be able to feel his hunger and decide how much they really want, rather than you deciding how much your child should eat. Using a smartphone to make your child eat their food impacts the relationship your child develops with his food. Encourage your child to eat, as much as they want, when they want.

Encourage your child to engage with friends and family

Your child needs friends and daily engagement for his social skills to form. Talk to your child about the importance of social interaction and how communication helps. 

Build their self-esteem

Today’s children get affected by likes and comments on social media and base their self-esteem basis these reactions. Talk to your child how the virtual world can never emulate what the real world is. Let your child know, that his true worth lies in your life and how they are cherished and valued above everything.

Thank you for reading

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This is a personal blog that chronicles my own experiences/research. Readers must take proper medical advice (if any discussed above) before trying anything at home.

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19 thoughts on “How Smartphones Affect Your Child’s Health

  1. Great post! Sets as a reminder to many parents. Every gadget has some benefits but over use of the same does more damage. We ought to practice moderation.

  2. Technology is a boon and has some down-effects too. This post rightly mentions the red-flags of the smartphones. We have 1 hour of phone time every day and never more. I believe in everything in moderation.

  3. Screen time and how much is definitely importanf topic in todays times. I agree it affects childrens social skills and also skills to enjoy outdoors and sports and other activities which are very important.

  4. I find pros and cons of using gadgets. He picked up a lot of things quite early from all the videos he watches on the iPad. But I am worried about it affecting his eye sight. Now i try to get him outdoors as much as possible to reduce screen time.

  5. So true, smartphones these days have replaced kids outdoor activities. Though there are a lot of learning through various educational apps but still outdoor activities are important too

  6. Everything has advantages and disadvantages and so everything should be used up to a limit. Same goes for smartphones or anything in general-too much of anything is very harmful.

  7. Smart phones have terribly adverse effects on adults and even worse ones on children. Good tips you have listed here.

  8. The other day i saw a toddler with smartphone in the mall i visited! I am really questioning why parents lend their phones to babies :/ not good fot their health!

  9. Smartphones definitely promote sedentary lifestyle! I have experienced this and it is so addictive! We should definitely try to keep kids away from smartphones!

  10. Oh this is an eye opener for all parents. In this modern and busy age, all parents seem to give smartphones to kids so early. I hope this post reaches as many parents as possible.

  11. Smartphones have become the bane of modern lifestyles. Though they can be harnessed productively, indiscriminate use can be really detrimental to a child’s health and growth. It is so essential to monitor the use of smartphones so that a balance is achieved.

  12. Great extent I do agree that screen time is is somewhat of an evil these days but perhaps it is a necessary evil. Everything is so digital these days that most of the the entertainment is also digital and it is so difficult to keep children engaged with non digital toys these days definitely this is something that everyone needs to work on and it is very important

  13. Nice write up. It’s difficult to completely restrict screen time because my daughter learnt all her rhymes and ABC and numbers n colours from YouTube before she was 2 … She is teaching my 2 yr old son now 😄

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