It is true, technology has really made some aspects of our lives easier! With the invention and modernization of wireless phones and tablets as new means of communication, the world has evolved to a new information and communication era.
We are all fascinated with the technical advancements that our generation is witnessing. However, even though all of these “instant” things are convenient for us and our families, we still need to remain mindful of the way our kids use technology. With so many new benefits for kids, you need to be aware of the dangers online and use programs to limit access to harmful websites.
The time that children spend online is growing and the virtual world we browse is a representation of the realities of the world in which we live. Unfortunately, we can’t control what is posted on the internet, because it is a virtual platform that allows freedom of expression. What does this mean for your child? Once they are allowed to access the internet, they can be exposed to everything that the world has to offer, both the good and the bad; and this includes the websites that are not age appropriate or family safe. This is why it is recommended that you setup “Parental Control” restrictions on your child’s devices, to help ensure that even though your child is free to express themselves and discover, they will still remain protected from the harmful content online.
Safety with technology also has a physical component to it. Limiting screen time has become an increasingly popular topic among parents and teachers today. Parents are often concerned about kids spending extended time in front of a screen or on their devices. In some cases there is this unbreakable attraction between the child and the technology device. Setting up limits early will help avoid situations where a child starts developing an addiction at an earlier age. Extended screen time may lead to challenges with vision later in life.
It has been reported that prolonged screen time may affect vision and ability to concentrate. Eyes are repeatedly exposed to a constant amount of bright light. When the light is too intense or too bright, the retina needs to “accommodate”, which means that the pupil will contract to allow a certain amount of light to go in. When the light is dimmed, the retina will dilate, which is the opposite process. Now imagine that your child’s eyes have to go through this every day.
With excessive and increased screen time, in some cases, this may hinder a child’s ability to concentrate. That is because generally, video games and children cartoons are designed in a way that allows a fast motion of images. Because of that, children can quickly go from one concept to another and would adapt to that type of system. This may negatively impact their school performances in the sense that they will not be able to focus for long on one topic, thus preventing them from assimilating what is being taught as they would be eager to move onto the next subject.
Volume control is another important aspect to consider when it comes to ensuring hearing kids safety with use of technology devices. Many are now accustomed to watching movies or listening to music with a volume that may increase risk for hearing damage. Excessive volumes can lead to weakened cochlear cells. The cochlear cells are the microscopic hair cells that play a huge role in transmitting sound frequencies to the brain. The louder the volume that hits your ears, the more work needs to be done by the cochlear cells. If they get worked up to fast and too soon, children can be at risk for hearing impairment.
Finally, one fact that we tend to overlook is the ergonomic position (that is, the position they assume while they are in front of their tablets, laptops or playing video games). To achieve a proper ergonomic position, the individual should be sitting up straight, with head, neck and shoulders properly aligned; with the screen monitor approximately at eye heights and at an arms distance away. Unfortunately, even some adults do not adopt this position while working. But here we are focusing more on children. They are still growing and their bones haven’t achieved their final strength, which means that any deformation of the vertebral column could be picked up along the way and result in a permanent posture.
Technology can be good for children in many ways, however, like with many other things in life, it is best when used in moderation.