High-tech baby users, not cute or healthy

2017-02-15 06:02

MANY parents think it is “so cute” when their young babies perform various functions on digital devices and baby is captivated by the screen as it is so easy to use as a “babysitting”device.

iPad holders have been designed to clip onto the cot as a sleep or entertainment tool. On average children spend five to six hours a day staring at screens states psychologist Sue Palmer.

Sometimes two at once, watching TV while playing on an iPad.

Even prior to iPads hitting the market in 2010 experts warned that 80% of children arrived at school with poor co-ordination due to a sedentary lifestyle.

The earlier children are hooked on screens, the more difficult it is to wean them off.

The long-term impact is not yet known but research in Japan shows that far more children require glasses from an earlier age because of screen fixation.

But there are many more problems arising from the onscreen activities which affects their overall development. It’s what the screens displace – activities children are not doing in the real world - as Palmer says “real play”.

They no longer learn through first-hand experiences how to be human and are much less likely to play or socialise outdoors with others.

The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no screen-time for children under two and a maximum two hours a day thereafter, and this includes video, TV, computer and cell phones.

Babies are born with an intense desire to learn about their world, so they’re highly motivated to interact with people and objects around them - the beginning of real play.

But when little ones can get instant rewards from high-tech devices, they don’t need to bother with real play.

Images on a screen can be just as fascinating as the real world, and even a very small child can learn to control the images with a clumsy swish of podgy fingers.

If the next generation is to grow up bright, balanced and healthy enough to use technology wisely, parents need to take action, and that means limiting screen-time, spending time together as a family and ensuring that children go out to play.

Modern technology develops at a phenomenal rate - any IT skills that children learn before the age of seven will be long past their sell-by date by the time they reach their teens.

But self-confidence, emotional resilience, creative thinking, social skills and the capacity for focused thought will stand them in good stead whatever the future brings.

Comment was requested on the above article from Early Childhood Development consultant Charmanye Forster of Letcee Greytown, who has many years of expertise in her field who told the Greytown Gazette: “What an excellent article.

It is so important for young children to have opportunities to develop holisti- cally. At a recent conference focusing on play in Gauteng a number of leading academics concurred with this article (http://www.cotlands.org.za/play-confer ence-2016/).

“I implore parents to encourage their children to play outdoors and indoors, to explore, create, communicate and move.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own

If you think it’s too boring to own a cat or a dog, consider getting one of these pets.

 
 

Paws

Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.