Too much exposure to tablet and smartphones may affect your child’s development, experts say
Video games may be suitable for children as it helps stimulate the brain in ways books and physical activities may not. However, according to experts, too much screen time may have serious health side effects.
Facebook, iPhone executives admitting disturbing side-effects of their platform, says a lot about how technology can affect health.
1. The brain may shrink
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics agree that children from 0-to 2 years should not have any exposure to technology at all.
Cell phones, iPad, tablets, and Nintendo handheld video games may stimulate a developing brain. However, overstimulation can cause attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity, and lack of self-control. [Small 2008, Pagini 2010]
Brain cells do not reproduce, and a child’s brain is still developing. Long-term radiation exposure from cell phones can affect the brain, a study said. A kid’s skull is thinner than an adult’s. Thus, it’s easier for radiation to penetrate brain cells.
2. It can trigger an untimely macular degeneration
Today, more children suffer from poor eyesight and wear prescription glasses. It was not the case before 2010, just before tablets and smartphones became popular.
Temporary blindness can also occur after long-term exposure to a concentrated light source in a dark place. A child’s body and eyesight cannot handle prolonged stress. Even their brain synapse is still evolving.
New England Journal of Medicine reported the cases of the two women who experienced “transient smartphone blindness” for months.
However, their experience is insufficient to say that smartphones have caused it. Nonetheless, there have been similar reports that link blindness with using cell phones in the dark.
Continuous exposure to blue light emitted by gadgets can damage the eyes. A study at the University of Toronto observed that the eye’s cornea and lens could not block or reflect this light, and it gets absorbed deep in the eye.
Intense exposure to light, such as flash, may have the same effect when you are frequently exposed to fast-moving video games, emitting the ‘blue light.’ Some sources, such as NATO and the U.S. Department of Defense, stated that “flash blindness” can be temporary or permanent.
It’s still debatable whether the light being emitted from these gadgets poses a threat. The first tablet appeared in 2010. We still have a few more years to find out its ramifications.
3. It may cause brain seizure, even death
In 2022, the eyes, hands, and mouth of a six-year-old child from the Philippines began twitching uncontrollably, as if she had a stroke. She spends the whole day on her gadget. The doctor said she might be suffering from focal seizures, an outcome of the brain and eye stress.
Although more studies are needed to say that the cause is prolonged smartphone use, recent findings confirm that using gadgets for more than two hours has side effects.
Gamers died while playing video games
- In 2017 alone, nearly twenty people have died while playing online computer video games. Two people died while playing Nintendo Wii, X-box video console. They were playing at least 2-days in a row, barely eating and standing.
- 2018, 24 years old young man did a “live-stream mass shooting” at a Madden NFL tournament eSports. After losing a series of matches, he took the defeat heavily, returned, and shot people, including himself.
- 2019, a Thai teenager was found dead after a marathon video game session lasting several nights.
- 2020, 12 years old boy in Egypt died after playing the ‘Battlegrounds’ video game for hours.
- 2021, a 16-year-old boy in India collapses after playing for hours.
Demonic influence is glaring
Pulmonary Embolism has been observed as a common cause of death among video gamers. This can happen when you sit in the same position for extended periods, causing a blood clot in the leg vein (Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT).
These gamers mostly played Halo, Warcraft, Starcraft, War of Tanks, Diablo, Ingress, League of Legends, and the infamous DOTA. These games are filled with blood and gore. It is inappropriate for children and anyone for that matter.
4. It can cause depression and anxiety
Jerry Bubrick, senior director of the Anxiety Disorders Center, said the issue is not about how young a child is exposed to gadgets, but their maturity levels and self-control in using them for not more than two hours.
He said overuse could decrease self-confidence, disconnected from reality, causing social imbalance, anxiety, and depression.
A recent study show 73% of high school students are not getting enough sleep. When asked why almost everyone said it was because of playing video games.
Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to depression that is potentially attributable to the neurochemical changes that occur in the brain. On the other hand, depression may lead to disturbed sleep, which could manifest as a symptom of a mood disorder. [NCBI]
Are you struggling with video addiction?
Addiction takes many forms—you won’t know you are addicted until something happens. It affects not only studies but destroys family relationships. Ask God for wisdom on what steps you can take and pray for spiritual deliverance.