It is common knowledge nowadays how damaging too much exposure to technology and gadgets is to the developing minds and bodies of young kids. It wasn’t a problem in the past when kids did not have access to these innovative and smart gadgets that are taking up most of their time these days. Medical experts are always urging parents to limit kid’s screen time because it predisposes them to various health conditions that can later affect them in adult life.
Up to now, many are still wondering how much screen time is ideal for kids, and how much outside play they get. Well, it is better if they aren’t allowed to use these devices at all but that rarely happens now as there are just way too many (smart) gadgets in our life that it is inevitable for them to get their little hands on smartphones, for instance. Parents are usually harassed as well in trying to juggle their multiple responsibilities that only grow the more our technology advances. It is why they give these gadgets to their young children, so they can be free to do whatever it is they need to do as their young children busy themselves with various apps and games that are trending now. It’s even a bonus if they have access to WiFi because that means they can surf the web and do more with their time.
The average Australian child is spending the equivalent of a full time job staring at screens, according to a new study commissioned by Specsavers. While the Australian Department of Health recommends children spend no longer than two hours per day looking at screens, the new research shows that the time Aussie children spend on electronic devices is increasing year on year.
As technology advances and digital devices take the place of books and outdoor play, prolonged screen time is having an impact on children’s vision, which develops until the age of eight. A study by the Royal Children’s Hospital shows that while almost all Australian teenagers have a phone or tablet, 67 per cent of primary school kids and 36 per cent of pre-schoolers have their own mobile device.
Children spend more time indoors and no longer get to lead an active life that is often associated with childhood. Not only is too much screen time affecting a child’s normal growth and development but it also impairs their health in ways that we can’t yet fathom. Their eyes, for instance, is among the most susceptible as it gets damaged over time of continued gadget use. Kids become more prone to develop myopia or near sightedness that is worsened by excessive gadget use and lack of physical activity and movement.
Helping to prevent nearsightedness in children may be as simple as urging them to spend more time outside, some experts say.
Possibly due to changing habits among children — spending more time reading in dim light and spending more time indoors than those of past generations — doctors are seeing an increase in the number of cases of nearsightedness, also known as myopia.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recently opened a Myopia Treatment Center to meet the growing demand.
Nearsightedness is a condition in which vision gets blurred when viewing an object at a distance.
Not only are kids becoming fat but they also get sicker without most parents realizing the harm they are consciously exposing their children into. Just the mere fact that most of these kids still get to use gadgets even past their bedtime (as their bedtime is already stretched further into the night as the days pass by) in the dim light of their room puts a heavy strain on their eyes making it prone to myopia than if they were using it in broad daylight. Aside from that, these smart gadgets release blue light, a type of an ultraviolet light that gets deeper into a person’s eye and severely injures the retina. It can even predispose a child to age-related macular degeneration over time aside from just developing myopia.
No matter how busy a parent’s life is, they must still remember that they should make wise decisions that will improve the health and well-being of their kids and not simply take the easy way out. Technology should not control our lives more so become a risk to our health, especially of the young ones.