Gadgets & electronic devices kids below 12 years old should not own
The World Health Organization says smartphones and gadgets are a health risk because of radiation among others. The effect is significant to toddlers and kids below 12 years old whose brain and body are still developing. Screen discipline is a must.
1. Smartphones, iPad, Tablet, and Computer
A World Health Organization says gadgets are a health risk due to radiation (Journal of Medicine). Children below 8 years old spend an average of two hours a day of “screen time.” Experts say these gadgets can interfere with the brain development of a child. (Radesky, Schumacher, Zuckerman)
Brain development is from infancy up to 21 years old and stimulation is important. Overstimulation however at a very young age is associated with attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased the ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).
2. Video Game Console
Although video games boost brain activity, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics agree that children from 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology at all. Their cognitive skills need a gradual and tactile form of development. Video games may harm their fine psychomotor skills.
Potential side effects:
3. Cable TV Subscription
Before the age of the internet, kids can only watch cartoons on TV in the morning. The rest of their free time was spent on outdoor activities. With subscription, Netflix, and Youtube, kids have unlimited access to hundreds of kids shows. As a result, few go outside to get dirty, perspire and do normal things that will aid brain and body development. Up to Generation X, parents had a hard time asking kids playing outside to come home. Today, parents are having a hard time asking kids to go out and play.
An issue by Pediatrics features a small study that found children who watched 9 minutes of a fast-paced cartoon had impairment in their executive function compared to those who had drawing task. In other words, the controversy in “overstimulation” suggest that there is harmful effects. (Christakis 2011)
Today, parents are having a hard time asking kids to go out and play
4. Electric-Driven Bikes and Cars
With nearly everything made in China, affordable electric motors for kids have become common. Exposing children to electric driven bikes at an early age not only limit outdoor exercise, but it teaches them laziness. Physical exercise boosts the physical and mental development of a child.
When can kids own or play video games?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children younger than 18 months to avoid screen media. Children ages 2 to 5 years may have screen time up to 1 hour per day and up to 2 hours until puberty stage.
Cris Rowan, an occupational therapist, is more proactive. He recommends zero to twelve years old should never own handheld devices and to never play video games or online gaming. He’s actually right, based on several parents we’ve talked to and is struggling with their teens’ video addiction.
Learn from Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs limited his young daughters’ exposure to technology. Every evening, he made a point of having dinner at the big, long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things.