Screen Time Hurting Children, Cover story 4 September 2023

Screen time hurting children
News Kashmir Analysis
We live in day and age when the technology has seen lot of Innovation and it has bore more fruits. Television was a big invention so was mobile phone and internet. Although,  The flip side of technology is there mainly due to not good use by humans. Kids and children spending too much time on screen is a major worry. This is eating the health and intelligence capacity of children. Parents also give in a wrong manner mobile phones to kids in order to escape from responsibility of care. All this is having negative impacts on our children and youth.
Expert pulse is worried.
Handing phone to your babies could delay their speech, problem-solving skills according to sane opinion.
In this regard,  the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on few days back said handing phone to your babies could lead to delay in their development.
“The more time babies spend on smartphones, the more likely they are to have developmental delay,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said parents hand over phones to children to calm them. Also, it allows parents to get other tasks done like cooking, cleaning and washing.
“Letting your baby play with a phone may seem like a simple way to keep them occupied, but it could affect their development,” he said.
“According to a new study published on August 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association Paediatrics, babies who spent more time on phones at age one year were more likely to have delays in speech and problem-solving skills,” said Dr Hassan.
“Researchers found that by age two years, babies who had spent up to 4 hours in front of the screen were 3 times more likely to have communication and problem-solving delays, while those who had spent 4 or more hours on screens were 4.78 times more likely to have underdeveloped communication skills, 1.74 times more likely to have subpar fine motor skills and two times more likely to have underdeveloped personal and social skills,” he said.
“By age four years, risk remained only in the communication and problem-solving areas.”
The DAK President said kids develop their language skills by interacting with others including parents and if they are just watching a screen they are not having an opportunity to practice talking.
“Babies need face to face interaction for social development. Looking at people’s faces is when our brain turns on to figure out how to interact with them,” he said
“Screens disrupt interactions and limit opportunities for kids to practice interactive problem-solving skills,” he added.
“Parents should spend time with their kids and delay introducing phones to infants and young children,” said Dr Nisar.
“World Health Organisation and American Academy of Paediatrics recommend that children under age 2 should not be exposed to screens at all and limit screen time to one hour per day for children aged 2-5 years,” he said.
The need of the hour is we cut screen time of our children.