With the modern world we live in today, the use of mobile phone, tablets, and computers is part of our daily lives. Even children, regardless of their age, are now using these gadgets nonstop.
And though, these technologies can help your children’s learning development, they also have great disadvantages.
It’s important to know these consequences ahead of time to realize the importance of setting a screen time for your children:
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average child spends about 8 hours a day watching electronic screens. Gadget use among kids increases with age. Although it cannot be said with certainty, research indicates that children spending too much time staring at screens are at higher risk of long-term vision problems. Apart from televisions and video games, most gadgets came in the last two decades. While the immediate effects on children can be observed, their long-term effects are unknown.
According to researchers, children who spend a lot of time with gadgets are likely to develop temporary myopia (nearsightedness). Fortunately, the effect is transient and the eyes recover a few minutes after they switch to a non-screen activity.
The effect of spending a lot of time watching screens is not limited to the eyes alone. Apart from symptoms like dry eyes, burning sensation, double vision and blurry vision, people also complain of headaches and posture-related problems like neck and back pain. Doctors now call this set of symptoms as “computer vision syndrome”.
When people use electronic screens, they blink less. On an average, a person blinks about 15 times in a minute. Due to the high attention required while using an electronic screen, this rate can drop to less than 5 times in a minute.
Blinking is a natural mechanism that keeps the eyes moist, lubricated and clean. A lower blink rate causes dry eyes and irritation. The severity varies according to the type of activity and the level of engagement. A video game, therefore, creates more eyestrain because you have to constantly watch and respond to what is happening on screen. Desktop computers and wall-mounted televisions can make it worse because they make you look upwards. This makes you open your eyes wider and expose more surface area of the eye to evaporation.
Electronic screens can generate images with a lot of brightness and contrast and they can vary these images in a fraction of a second. They also reflect glare from surrounding light sources like lamps and windows. Your eyes have to frequently respond to changing light levels. Watching a screen that is too dim or bright compared to the surroundings also causes eye strain. Your eyes have to adjust when you switch from the screen to the surroundings. The frequent dilation and contraction of pupils results in eye fatigue.”
See, it’s not necessary to ban your children from using their gadgets. Just like anything else, you just need to set limits.
It can be really difficult to do this initially, especially if your children are gadget dependent. That’s why, it’s very important to introduce them to active physical games and activities. This way your children will realize that there’s so much more outside those computer screens.
Skating, for example, is a good way to get your children’s attention. In line skates with awesome lights like these can be a great way to lure your children to a more active, and healthier lifestyle.