It’s a common scenario in almost every household to see children as between one to three years old use gadgets. Either watching their favorite nursery shows on TV, playing games on a mobile phone, or watching videos on a tablet. Many parents find it convenient to offer gadgets to their kids to enjoy a few moments of peace.
Children tend to behave well while being entertained by gadgets. No whimpering, shouting, running around the house, climbing on chairs, and messing with their toys on the floor. Their attention is focused on a gadget’s screen. This allows parents to rest, clean the house, or prepare dinner. Unfortunately, too much exposure to these devices brings lots of negative impacts to young children.
- Long-term eye problem. Once children are hooked to their activities on gadgets, they don’t mind about the screen brightness and screen distance from their eyes. This can cause them to develop an eyesight problem. Particularly myopia which is also known as nearsightedness. A condition in which the eye can see nearby objects clearly but far away objects are It is a non-retractable eye problem which can be carried into adulthood.
- Speech and language delay. Devices such as tv, cellphones, Xbox, and tablets limit children’s time to talk and interact with others. Which is critical in learning to communicate. The more screen time (the time spent on using gadgets), the fewer chances for them to learn how to talk and communicate with other people.
- ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a mental disorder that is mostly occurs in children. It refers to difficulty in paying attention even for a short time, being excessively active, and having trouble controlling behavior. Children with ADHD are often restless, and easily distracted. This condition can cause problem at home and at school.
- Learning problem. Gadgets are very entertaining for children. Making their brain preoccupied and unable to focus on doing other activities including learning new things. In addition, their time to interact with their parents and other people is bounded as they spend more time on the screen. Affecting their communication skills which is an important factor in learning.
- Obesity. Children should play outside to run, walk, jump, and gain friends. They need physical activities to burn calories, move their muscles, and be healthy. Relying on screen to play games will only make them gain weight and become obese. The hobby of spending too much time with gadgets can be carried into adulthood. Obesity is associated to many serious health problems including heart disease and diabetes.
- Negative impact on character. This is one of the biggest problems children can have when they consume too much screen time. Kids are clever enough to search the internet especially YouTube. They may find their way to see content that is not appropriate for their age. Remember that children like to copy what they see. They may develop a bad behavior from what they see on the internet because they think it’s okay or is That is why parental guidance is very important when allowing your child to use a gadget. In addition, children can easily get addicted to devices. Giving in to their tantrums when it’s time to cut their screen time can encourage them to behave badly.
It’s true that offering gadgets to children help parents enjoy their well deserved “down-time”. Giving them momentarily relaxation from taking care of kids. However, the use of these devices should be strictly limited for young children to protect them from the gadgets’ harmful effects.