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.
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
If you liked this article – Like, share and comment on it. Subscribe to our blog to receive notifications when a NEW post is published.
**Disclaimer – images used in this article are NOT my property and have been used only for the sole purpose of a reference **
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.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Princy Khurana (@clanpedia) with proper and specific direction to the original content.