Arunima Ganguly, a little more than four now, held a smart phone in his hands for the first time over a year ago . The vivid display and stunning colors immediately caught his imagination. Today, Arunima is engaged in the digital world after school and during holidays. For four years Akshini Dixit, who lives in Mumbai, love tablet instantly came the moment when his father brought home two years ago. Today, seeing rhymes downloaded YouTube to play various games, the screen is slowly taking on outdoor fun – once a basic element for her – and time with family and friends. Arunima and Akshini (real names) are not alone. The screen addiction – in the form of tablets, smartphones, iPads and laptops – is witnessing a dramatic increase among children in India and the future is not so bright, experts warn. “I am concerned about the intensive use of digital technology is happening at the expense of human interaction in young children today. You can have negative effects on long-term mental health,” says Dr. Aggarwal Shilpa, child psychiatrist and specialized youth Super Nanavati hospital in Mumbai.
‘This can have an impact on young children’ ability to regulate themselves emotionally and affect healthy communication, social interaction and creative play, ‘Dr. Aggarwal told IANS. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages any amount or type of screen support and screen time for children under two years of age and no more than one to two hours of total screen time per day for children over two years. While some parents use digital media platforms to provide learning as lullabies and videos teaching elementary their toddlers level, others use the equipment just to keep them busy at dinner time or when they want some time alone.
However, clinical experience shows that very young children, use of digital technology as a pacifier is happening at the expense of time much needed recreation with other children and members of the family. “Excessive use with screens at the expense of human interaction can affect the skills of social communication and family bonding in young children,” says Dr. Sameer Malhotra, director (mental health and behavioral science) at the Max Hospital Super Specialties in New Delhi. Recent evidence from neuroimaging studies show that screen addiction in young children can lead to various cognitive deficits and problems processing information. “This means that if children are exposed to a lot of screen time from the beginning, which could manifest as cognitive later in life deficits,” says Dr. Aggarwal. Undoubtedly, there are many opportunities applications for children to develop skills related to planning, strategizing and problem solving. “However, these opportunities can not serve as a substitute for more conventional unstructured interactions and socializing in the real world ways,” says Dr. Samir Parikh, director (mental health and behavioral sciences) of Fortis HealthCare .
play activities and imaginative group helps young children learn the value of sharing, building trust, empathy, teamwork, abstract thinking and other communication skills necessary to prepare them to be adept at dealing with social and emotional demands in the future. screen addiction can also put children at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “One case in particular, I remember when a child who showed symptoms of ASD was responding only to images on ipad and addict found the screen. After he was admitted to a school play, access to unstructured play with other children helped him develop socio-emotional skills, “said Satinder K Wali, a child psychologist at the Super Specialty Hospital BLK.
excessive use of digital technology can directly affect the social and emotional development of children, since it would limit their exposure to stimuli in the real world with a greater concern in the virtual world of technology, experts say. “excessive dependence could lead to social alienation and deprivation of opportunities to interact with peers and other important people who are vital to understanding the nature of reciprocity and socio-emotional development of children, “says Dr. Parikh. the screen addiction can also hinder language and speech development.
“We are witnessing more cases of delays in expressive speech due to excessive exposure to screen time. I would say too many devices in all, these are the warning signs of problems in early childhood, such as autism, speech delays and lack of social skills, “says Dr. Preeti Singh, Paras The clinical psychologist hospitals in Gurgaon. the extreme cases of addiction can cause structural changes in the brain. ‘It can lead to impaired cognitive function, inhibition of impulses, increased sensitivity to rewards and insensitivity to loss,’ Dr. Singh stressed. While there are some parents who are concerned about excessive reliance on their children on technology as a primary means of entertainment, it is more common to express such concerns and seek help as the child grows. “This occurs when overuse screen begins to interfere with their studies and other areas of operation, “says Dr. Parikh. for parents, the need of the hour may be to limit the exposure of the screen for their young children and let small souls explore the world on their own.
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Source: IANS / By Nishant Arora
Photo source: IANS
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