MEDICAL CORNER ….. electronic gadgets for kids!


~~March 10, 2014~~

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

By: Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, speaker, author

(Information used as written. All credit goes to author.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban.

(Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.)

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).

3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity (Tremblay 2005). Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity (Feng 2011). One in four Canadian, and one in three U.S. children are obese (Tremblay 2011). 30% of children with obesity will develop diabetes, and obese individuals are at higher risk for early stroke and heart attack, gravely shortening life expectancy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Largely due to obesity, 21st century children may be the first generation many of whom will not outlive their parents (Professor Andrew Prentice, BBC News 2002).

4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010). 75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).

5. Mental Illness 
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010Mentzoni 2011Shin 2011,Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children have a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).

6. Aggression 
Violent media content can cause child aggression (Anderson, 2007). Young children are increasingly exposed to rising incidence of physical and sexual violence in today’s media. “Grand Theft Auto V” portrays explicit sex, murder, rape, torture and mutilation, as do many movies and TV shows. The U.S. has categorized media violence as a Public Health Risk due to causal impact on child aggression (Huesmann 2007). Media reports increased use of restraints and seclusion rooms with children who exhibit uncontrolled aggression.

7. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.

8. Addictions
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children. In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction (Rowan 2010). One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology (Gentile 2009).

9. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).

10. Unsustainable
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable (Rowan 2010). Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children.

Please reference below slide shows onwww.zonein.ca under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.

Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth

2014-03-06-Screenshot20140306at3.29.09PM.png~~Source~~http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html

~~Technology has Negative Effects on Children~~

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9 thoughts on “MEDICAL CORNER ….. electronic gadgets for kids!

  1. Some very good points although point 6 is highly disputed and debated over the years. This claim has been used with almost every new invention that has to do with media in any form. Comics, Television, Music (remember the hidden messages when playing records backwards). In fact there are more studies saying it has no relation in itself then studies saying the opposite.

    However violent games (and other media) in combination with other factors like the way people raise their children, the values and morals they not only teach them but also DEMONSTRATE them and even the way teachers and other “figures of authority” deal with this come in play.

    Several of the US school shootings are said to be game related but after close examination it always proved that these kids had way more problems (friends, social life, home based problems like abuse and incest etc etc)

    heck.. if you think about it many “offline” games deal with violence, take battleship orplaying “cowboy and Indian” (sorry we Dutchmen say Indian you will almost never hear anyone say native American (oorspronkelijke Amerikaan) mainly because we have a different name for the call center Indians (Indiers) and the native American Indians (indianen) and it is not considered derogatory)

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    • Agree, M!! I still think that exposure to violence … V, news, games, movies, videos … all play a part in the type of children that are coming up. Yes, add to that genetic and environmental factors. Most important to me is parent supervision … with this fast paced life, two jobs, home chores, etc. much is left to chance.
      Peace!!

      Like

  2. MEDICAL CORNER ….. electronic gadgets for kids!
    I read the article, and there is so much reason children under the age of 12 should not be using these things made for adults. But unfortunately until a law is in, parents will allow these children to use the devices….

    Like

  3. Pingback: Intre digital dementia si utilizare sanatoasa a cyperspatiului | Rares Iordache

  4. Pingback: Intre digital dementia si utilizarea sanatoasa a cyperspatiului | #VV

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