Smartphones are here to stay. In fact, for most people it is unthinkable to organize their lives without the help of these phones, which have been specially designed to make our daily tasks easier.
Also, more and more children who have access to smartphones and use them to play , watch videos or listen to music. However, these phones have a darker side. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society warn about the risks that smartphones pose to children.
Why is it a good idea to limit children’s access to smartphones? ?
Increases the risk of childhood obesity
The sedentary lifestyle that involves the use of modern technologies is becoming an increasingly worrying health problem in the children’s group. In fact, lack of physical activity increases the risk of childhood obesity and other health problems such as childhood diabetes and childhood heart and vascular disorders.
It overstimulates brain development in children
It has been shown that excessive exposure to technology can accelerate brain growth in babies between 0 and 2 years old. At first it may seem like something positive, but in reality it is a problem that affects the development of executive functions and learning, at the same time that it can generate attention deficits, delays in cognitive development and an increased lack of self-control and impulsiveness.
Causes sleep disturbances
Research has found that the blue lights emitted by most smartphones alter sleep patterns and affect the quality of sleep. As a result, children who use these devices before going to bed take longer to fall asleep and get less rest.
Promotes the development of mental disorders
Some studies have found that excessive use of new technologies is related to some mental disorders. In this way, excessive exposure can increase the risk of childhood depression and anxiety, as well as attention deficit, bipolar disorder and behavioral problems.
Generates childhood addiction and social isolation
Statistics indicate that one in 11 children between the ages of 8 and 18 is addicted to new technologies. This is a growing phenomenon and that it is increasingly difficult to control, since the more time they spend with mobile devices, the more they separate themselves from their environment, family and friends.
Increm The risk of exposure to radiation is reduced
The World Health Organization has placed cell phones within the dangerous devices for health, due to their radioactive emission. This is a problem that especially affects the smallest of the house, because they are more vulnerable to electromagnetic waves, which can cause long-term consequences.
Stimulates aggressive behavior in childhood
Exposure to aggressive and violent content found everywhere on the Internet and in many video games or applications could affect their behavior and stimulate aggressive behavior in the childhood. The isolation generated by constant browsing is also another factor that can affect their level of tolerance and self-control.
Three keys to regulating the use of smartphones in children
- Limit the time of use of the smartphone. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics recommend that children under 2 years of age do not have any contact with smartphones, while those between 3 and 5 years of age they should only wear them one hour a day. In turn, children between 6 and 12 years old should only have access for 2 hours a day.
- Plan outdoor activities. Children love outdoor activities: going out to run, walk, play, go on an excursion… It is a very simple strategy to offer the child alternative activities that make him forget about the smartphone, and that at the same time bring him several benefits for his health. In fact, experts from the University of Oxford have shown that children who spend time in contact with nature learn more easily and adapt better to changes.
- Offer alternative activities. Show your child that he doesn’t need a smartphone to have fun: organize games at home, give him a good book, encourage him to help you with the housework, talk to him and plan activities with his friends. It is about the child expanding her interests and activities and feeling motivated by other types of tasks that do not necessarily involve the use of technology.