These days, more and more kids are using gadgets like smartphones and tablets. And while there are some benefits that these gadgets have for kids, there are also hidden dangers that your child might be exposed to if they use these devices too much.
There’s even a term for all of these aches and pains, called “digital disabilities.” Here are just a few of the risks that your children might be exposed to if they use their gadgets too much.
Shoulder, wrist, and hand pain are different types of stress injuries that can be caused by using gadgets. Specifically, laptop trackpads, and improper posture when typing are the main culprits for these injuries.
Additionally, using smartphones at odd angles, such as when they’re lying in bed, in public transportation etc. can cause thumb pain, impaired hand function from all the swiping, texting, tapping, and scrolling.
To prevent these injuries, using a separate mouse would be better than a trackpad. Less time using smartphones is also very important as it reduces the repetitive stress that’s placed on the hands, fingers, and wrists.
Back when we were younger, our moms always told us to sit up straight whenever we’re sitting down. With the advent of laptops and tablets, you can see that more and more kids are hunched over these devices instead of sitting up straight.
According to a study from the British Chiropractic Association, 40% of 11 to 16 year olds are starting to feel neck and back pain which can be attributed to poor posture.
The fix? Make sure your kids are sitting up straight when using their gadgets. If you see them hunched over when using tablets or smartphones, make sure to correct their posture.
Of course, staring for hours on end at an LCD screen won’t be good for your eyes. While you might think that your children are benefitting from educational apps or doing research on the internet, it’s also worth considering the damage that can be caused if they stare too long at the screen.
Staring too long at a screen can cause dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, myopia, among others.
So, what’s the best way to prevent eye damage? Limit the time your kids can use smart phones, laptops, or other gadgets. And if they’re using these gadgets, make sure that they do it in a well-lit room, and not with the lights turned off as the bright screen can be harmful to their eyes.
This one is most common for kids who use gadgets like music players, or for those who listen to a lot of music on their phones or laptops.
The problem lies with the volume that they use to listen to their music. Kids tend to have a habit of listening to louder music, and most of them listen to music for hours at a time.
This can cause hearing loss at a very young age, and various other injuries as loud music can cause damage to the nerve cells on their ears.
So, what’s the alternative? Well, most kids won’t really listen to you if you tell them to turn the music down, so a good option would be to buy them a small, portable speaker that they can use instead of earphones. That way, the sound won’t be focused on their ears when they listen to music.
READ: How to ‘unplug’ your kids from their gadgets
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