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The Toxicity of Electronic Devices on our Children

Khmer Times Share:

Over the past 25 years, our world has been invaded by electronic devices. Children used to play with toys but now spend a significant amount of their day on electronic devices. But just how safe is it for our children to spend all this time on electronic devices.
Health implications and long term effects    
Research has shown that children’s health is negatively impacted by overuse of electronic devices. Obesity, isolation, sleep deprivation, addiction, delayed development, mental illness, aggression, and radiation emission are among the long term effects. It has also been suggested as a cause of attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning and increased tantrums. Parents also remove these devices as a form of punishment, attaching even more importance to these items.
How many hours a day should we let children use their electronic toys    
Studies have shown that children’s use of these devices is four to five times above the recommended amount of technology usage. Overuse of electronics is affecting the health of children worldwide.
Many sources recommend one hour per day for 3-5 year olds, and up to two hours for 6-12 year olds.
Ways we can reduce children’s use of their devices
Take televisions out of bedrooms.  TV use at bedtime has a negative impact on children’s sleep patterns, reading to them before sleep is a positive way to end their day.
Keep electronics away from the dinner table. Remove all devices and turn the TV off when you eat. You are more likely to eat more when watching a screen and eating. So reducing device use will also have a positive effect on your eating patterns. Use this as a time for conversation with your children.
Reduce the amount of time your children use their devices. I know this is a tough one but it can be achieved by slowly changing the patterns of their use.
Participate in activities the children enjoy and encourage them to spend time outdoors. This goes for parents as well. The exercise will also have a positive impact on their physical and mental well-being. Taking your children away for weekends where there is a lot of outdoor activities will encourage them to explore and discover a world outside the digital one.
Do not use the devices as a nanny; yes I am sure we are all guilty of that at times, but find activities for them to do when you are busy. Give them challenges and reward good behavior with park visits or swims rather than device time.
Set aside the time that they can use their devices and monitor what games and activities they are doing. Discuss issues of online over-use with them as they are growing up. Keep those communication lines open between you and be aware of online dangers for children.
Set up the device before you give it to your child, with no Wi-Fi access when they are very young. They do not need to be online at young ages.  
Be aware and change the pattern of your child’s electronic use today.

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