In this modern era, children are exposed to television, computers, smartphones, and gadgets at an early age. Technology is seen as a tool to aid their learning and development. According to Influence Central, the average age of children owning a smartphone is 10.3 years old. Tablets have been the most popular device among children. 64% percent of the total children population in the United States have access to the internet through their tablets.
Despite the ideal goal of gadgets for children, scientists and researchers warn on the possible negative effects of gadget use to children’s health.
Here are ten reasons why gadget use in children should be regulated:
According to Pagini (2010), overexposure to technologies, including smartphones, TV, and the internet has been associated with impaired learning among children. It also contributes to children developing increased impulsivity, speech development delay, and attention deficiency, among others.
Small (2008) suggested that the use of technology in children promotes delay in their cognitive development. Children should be exposed to the real environment. Thus, gadgets are detrimental to children learning and development (Rowan, 2010).
Since children are busy with their gadgets, they are less exposed to physical activities, like playing outside or sports. According to a survey, one out of four children in the U.S. is obese because of their inactivity. They are at risk for an early heart attack.
According to a study, children spend 6 or more hours using their gadgets. 60% of parents do not restrict their children from using technology. With this, Kaiser Foundation (2010) found out that children are sleep deprived which affects their grades in school.
The use of technology also increases the risk of children from acquiring mental illnesses, especially depression. Technology overuse may also contribute to the rising rates of children with attachment disorder, autism, bipolar disorder and more.
When children cannot control their use of technology, they are gradually entering the addiction phase. According to Gentile (2009), one in 11 children is addicted to technology. Less parental supervision on children contributes to their addiction.
Smartphones and other wireless devices are categorized by the World Health Organization as “2B risk” due to radiation emission. Thus, they issued a cautionary warning to parents to regulate the use of technology among children in 1 to 2 hours per day only.
Gadgets steal the attention of children. They lose responsiveness to the external environment. Thus, overuse of technology can contribute to attention deficiency and decrease in memory and concentration.
TV and the internet are sources of violent media content. According to Anderson (2007), young children are exposed to sex, murder, rape, torture and other violent acts which causes them to develop aggression and anger problems.
Rowan (2010) suggests that technology is no longer sustainable for the children. With too much attention on gadgets, they lose vision for the future. They even cannot keep in touch with the real world.
As early as now, it is advised that parents supervise their children in using technologies.