Technology Exposes Children To Obesity And Poor Intellectual Development
Increasing studies are showing that kids raised in the digital age have increased rates of sleep disorders and technology exposes children to obesity and poor intellectual development, but what can we do about digital addiction, especially in teens who don’t spend all their time with us?
Is technology dumbing down our kids, and making them overweight?
With growing concerns about parenting, especially as alarming reports of children, as young as thirteen attending digital rehab clinics, in an effort to curb their addiction. One ‘smartphone rehab’ center near Seattle has started offering residential “intensive recovery programs” for teenagers who have trouble controlling their use of electronic devices.
With children growing up in the digital age, being surrounded by TV’s, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are normal. However, all this over-saturation of technology can lead to addiction in children.
Cause Of Obesity
Every hour spent in front of a screen leads to less time learning social skills, playing or rest, which contributes to the physical, and intellectual development of children. And the direct replacement of screen time instead of exercise of play-time results in children risking becoming overweight, exposing them to obesity.
Sleep Disorders Starting Early
Exposing children to the artificial lights of screens, especially as bed-time grows closer, affects the natural circadian rhythm, which results in sleep disorders.
Experts Weigh In
Richard Graham is a consultant psychiatrist at the private London mental health hospital the Nightingale Hospital, where he runs a specialist technology addiction clinic.
He told Metro what parents should look out for to know if their child is at risk of smartphone addiction: “Is their device use disturbing activities?” he said.
“Is it stopping them from going to school, or engaging in other activities such as having dinner with the family? When someone seems absolutely not able to stop, they’re losing control”.
Dr. Graham said parents should lead by example and limit their own use of mobile devices and plan designated tech-free family time.
Outdoor activities can be particularly beneficial to children who struggle to disconnect, he added.
“There’s something about those outdoor, immersive experiences that really helps tech-addicted children. Even just going swimming, going to a football match, or going to the cinema can have a positive effect.”
Child psychotherapist Julie Lynn Evans, who has worked with hospitals, schools, and families for 25 years, said her workload has significantly increased since the use of smartphones became widespread among young people.
“It’s a simplistic view, but I think it is the ubiquity of broadband and smartphones that has changed the pace and the power and the drama of mental illness in young people,” she told The Telegraph.
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Limiting Screen Time
1. Be an example.
Limit your screen time in front of the kids.
2. Parent like a champ
Explain why you are limiting screen time at meal times, and participate more with them to distract the lack of screens
3. Designated Time
Have a set and limited amount of time daily, that everyone can use their screens.
4. Find new hobbies
Start a new family tradition, hiking on Sunday’s, board games on Friday nights.
5. No TV’s in Bedrooms.
Not your kids’ rooms. And not yours either.
Tags: childhood obesity, how to lose weight, ipad addiction in kids, obesity, technology interrupting kids sleep, technology making kids fat