LIFE

Parents must watch children's smartphone, tablet use

Children now begin using tablets, computers and smartphones at a very early age.

The use of tablets and smartphones in children under 1 has become one of the biggest problems of the modern age. Long hours in front of the screen have a negative impact on the physiological and psychological development of children.

Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Ergotherapy (Occupational Therapy) research assistant Başak Çağla Arslan stated that while the subject is handled by occupational therapists, the most important role belongs to parents. Arslan offers important information about the harm of the use of tablets and mobile phones at an early age in children. We are surrounded by screens due to televisions, smartphones and tablets. The screens, which are an indispensable part of our lives as a result of developing technology, are a potential threat, especially for children's health.

Muscles weaken

In addition to physicians in children's rehabilitation, physiotherapists, language speech therapists, child development specialists and psychologists, occupational therapists have also drawn attention to the weakness of fine motor skills, coordination, postural and trunk muscles that have occurred, especially in children in the last five years. This problem that children encounter can be treated by occupational therapists.

One of the problems that occupational therapists draw attention to is that children's behaviors, social skills, handwriting and vision are affected.

Some problems have been experienced because of the fingers' position while using tablets and smartphones. The fact that these devices are stuck in a two-dimensional world also leads to perception problems.

Social skills affected

The use of technological devices by children is increasing day by day. In 2013, 38 percent of children under 2 and 80 percent of children aged between 2 and 4 were actively using mobile devices. Today, this rate has risen to 97 percent, and the age of use has decreased to under the age of 1.

According to recent research, the increase in time spent in front of screens affects both activities and parent-child communication. For this reason, we encounter children who have difficulty in many areas from eye contact to social skills, from communication abilities to sporting abilities.

No smartphones until the age of 3

Children are not recommended to use phones and tablets before the age of 3.

It is recommended that children over 3 should use them a maximum of one hour a day.

Children should stop using all media tools for at least an hour before they sleep.

It is important for healthy sleep for children not to spend time in a room where there is a TV.

On the other hand, spending quality time with activities appropriate for the child strengthens communication with both parents and the social environment.

*Didem Seymen

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