The Canadian Society of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics both claim that children should have restricted access to handheld devices. For example, children under the age of 2 should never ever use them, those 3-5 years old should be allowed to use them for one hour per day, while those 6-18 years old only 2 hours.
This is because technology is abused by children 4-5 times more than normal and this can lead to serious developmental consequences.
1. Brain growth
The children’s brain grows at a fast rate, and if it is not stimulated by the environment like it should because of overexposure to technology, like cell phones, TV, iPads, Internet, children can develop attention deficit, impaired learning, cognitive delays and will not develop the ability to self-regulate.
2. Developmental Consequences
The use of technology retards the child’s movement and the result is delayed development, which negatively impacts its literacy and academic achievement. Children under the age of 12 should be forbidden from using handheld technology too much.
Usage of technology deprives the child from moving and physical activities, which leads to obesity. This is the reason behind the fact that one in four children in Canada and US are obese. 30% of them develop diabetes and that means higher risk of heart attack and shorter life expectancy.
4. No Sleep
75% of children use technology in bedrooms and those aged 9 and 10 sleep much less because of that, which affects their grades.
5. Mental Disorder
Overuse of technology is the reason behind problematic behavior, psychosis, bipolar disorder, attention deficit, anxiety and child depression.
Child aggression is caused by violent media, physical and sexual content and violent video games where murders and torture are portrayed. Because of that media violence has been categorized in the USA as a Public Health Risk.
When the child’s brain is attacked with high speed media content it develops attention deficit, decreased concentration and memory, which affects its ability to learn.
8. Technology Addiction
Parents that overuse technology detach from their children. Because of that children attach to technology which then results in technology addiction.
Cell phones have been classified as possible carcinogens (category 2B risk) by the World Health Organization and therefore they can be very dangerous for the developing brain of a child. Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health even recommended that these should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen) based on new research.
Children that are raised with technology are not sustainable because they do not develop fully in order to function in society. Children are our future, so it is mandatory to bring them up in the correct manner. Please reference below slide shows on www.zonein.ca under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.
The following are guidelines for parents on technology use developed by Dr. Andrew Doan, neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games; Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids; and Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and author of Virtual Child.