Kids On Gadget

According to sources, 1 out of 3 kids in developing countries has a mobile phone or tablet addiction. In digital India, it is quite common to see a child with a phone, or at least begging his parents for one, and mind you, we’re not talking about the pink plastic toy phones! It feels incredible that a two or three-year-old knows how to use a cell phone or a tablet! Today it’s almost impossible for an average adult to stay away from gadgets and technology. Do a quick exercise and check how many devices you have. There isn’t a single household without a gadget. But are these devices robbing our children of a healthier, greener childhood?

With the constant rise in technology, kids have stopped going out to play like before, or even if they do go out, it’s either to chat online/call or family outings. Otherwise, no kid’s day starts without a WhatsApp message!

This is a significant health issue that is due to many reasons:

Inadequate supply of Vitamin D:
In the earlier days, if you notice, people used to be fed up with children playing cricket, football and all sorts of indie games. While the people used to get disturbed and even offended, kids were carefree and healthy, despite the long hours of play. This is because their bodies were exposed to sunlight, which is a rich source of vitamin D. This is required for healthy muscle and bone growth along with good immunity. But since kids are stuck indoors with their gadgets, they are not getting exposed to natural sunlight and hence missing out on the D3.

Weakness in essential muscles:
It is imperative to understand the importance of playing outdoor games, especially the ones which encourage free play. This builds the muscles and bones, along with sharpening reflexes, balance and team spirit. However, our present generation rarely indulges in free play. Hence they are physically weaker, with less endurance, fitness and reflexes. Due to this, they are prone to injuries when they engage in high demand sports.

Poor postures:
Hunched back, a sloppy walk are signs of poor postures due to long hours of slouched sitting. Long hours of stationary sitting can be detrimental in the long run as it leads to issues in the neck and back. Kids as young as 15 are getting slip disc issues due to continuous loading postures.

We are all aware of the ‘Netflix and chill’, culture has taken a toll on today’ children. The term “potato couch” is slowly turning into reality. With young kids, eating junk all day in front of the TV or computer or taking a smartphone to the dinner table is becoming a norm. Either they eat too quickly without realizing the amount they are eating, or they eat their meals at a snail’s pace. All these issues contribute to childhood obesity, which is a prequel to severe disorders like diabetes.

Mental health and sleep disorders:
Gadgets can ruin a child’s sleep pattern, by staying up late on smartphones can turn them into night owls, and given their busy schedules involving school and other classes, they get quickly tired, and this vicious cycle continues. But mental health is what affects a child the most; Gadgets overuse is always a risk element for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, autism, ADHD and other psychological problems.

Our kids watch and emulate us, rather than listen to what we have to say. It is the behaviour of people at home and those nearby that moulds the kids. So, the bottom line is, how are you supposed to take the gadgets away from the kids when, as a parent, you can’t stay away from it? The most common question would be, “should we let our children use gadgets or not?” Children need to learn and grow with technology. The future is technology and gizmos. We cannot separate kids and technology and never let them use it. We need to use technology for our benefit and not let it ruin us. As long as the child’s gadget usage is time-bound, and the content is monitored, technology can be beneficial to kids too, without compromising on outdoor playing, eating and sleeping well.

We highly recommend long term fitness regimens and encourage free play. Spend some time with your young ones and address any issue which crops up along the way. We, at PhysioRehab, are happy to help build a fit and robust future for your child.

Please feel free to dial your nearest PhysioRehab clinic for more information.

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