Today, toddlers can be handed a gadget or device and soon learn how to use it. We think these kids have advanced skills, however, studies have found that electronic devices could affect a child’s brain development, thus aiding in language development delays.
The Cons of long screen time on Gadgets
1. Language Delay in Toddlers
A New study found more evidence proving that children who spend too much time on handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much. In an article published by Time, research led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Paediatric Academic Societies, found that for every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The researchers did not find any other significant conclusion of screen time on other communication skills such as gesturing, body language or social interactions. However, the influence on speech should be investigated.
2. Less Active Play Equals Delayed Development
There are tons of gaming apps (for all ages) available on Google PlayStore and Apple Store. Many of them are free. With that, many kids today would rather spend time playing in front of a screen than playing outdoors with friends. It is important to encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities because they need to exercise their bodies and maintain a healthy lifestyle as they continue their journey into adulthood. If there is a restriction on outdoor activity, there will be delayed development in their physical skills.
3. Not Good for Bedtime
Commonly, kids find it hard to settle and sleep early because they want to linger playing games or watching pre-recorded or live video streams. A collection of researchers at the Kaiser Foundation found that 60 percent of parents do not administer their children’s gadget usage and 75 percent of children are allowed to use technology in their bedrooms. This aids in 75 percent of sleep-deprived children, between the ages of 9 and 10, according to researchers from a Boston College.
4. Not Good for School
Being sleep-deprived doesn’t only affect children’s development, it also affects their performance in school. Researchers found that students from developing countries in Asia scored better in math, science, and reading compared to students from the U.S. who are overexposed to technology.
5. Child Becomes Aggressive
The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that the increase in usage of modern technology can break the old boundaries of family, values, behaviour, and children’s well-being. Some games available online portray sexual content, murder, torture and more violent content, which is not appropriate for kids. Without the guidance of parents, kids can become violent and aggressive.
6. Can Cause Mental Illness
A slang term “iPaddy” refers to kids throwing a tantrum when their electronic devices are taken away from them. Many parents can relate to this scenario, and a study commissioned by online retailer Pixmania could support the belief that gadgets have something to do with the behaviour of kids. The group found that eight out of 10 parents who have children from ages 14 and under said they confiscate gadgets as a form of punishment as their kids are too attached to the devices, and most parents said kids throw tantrums after confiscating a device. To avoid this issue, reassess the extent you allow your kids to regularly use technology before they get too attached to them.
What to do
If you want to avoid the abovementioned issues, as parents set limitations on your child’s everyday usage, especially when using online technology. Monitor the apps and sites they are visiting so you know the content they are viewing and guide them age appropriately.
Kids over 2 years of age: no more than two hours in front of the TV
Kids age 2 to 5 years of age: screen time should be limited to one hour per day.
Kids age 6 and older: parents should learn to determine the restrictions for time spent using screen, and as well as monitoring the types of digital media that their kids visiting.