Gadgets & electronic devices kids below 12 years old should not have
2. Computer or tablet
3. Video game console
4. Cable TV subscription
5. Electric-driven mini-bikes and cars
Why toddlers should immediately stop using them
With the booming generation of young techies, it’s not unlikely that the first word that proceeds from the mouths of babes is not “Mama” or “Papa” but “iPad.” We see them tinkering with a tablet, and we gush, “Wow, smart kid!” But pediatric experts say it’s not really a smart move. Important pre-academic skills such as self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and problem-solving are primarily learned through children exploring the natural environment, not with gadgets .
What science says
A World Health Organization report in 2011 says gadgets are a health risk due to radiation . Children in the U.S. below the age of 8 spend an average of at least two hours a day of “screen time” in front of a mobile device . Experts discovered that these gadgets can interfere with the development of a child.
1. Brain shrink
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Canadian Society of Pediatrics agree that children from 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology at all . Adult coaching is needed to develop a child’s cognitive skills and gadgets are not a big help.
Between 0 and 2 years, an infant’s brain triples in size and continue in a state of rapid development up to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to electronic devices (cell phone, computer, iPad, TV) has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).
The latest study by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland found that one hour of mobile radiation triggered potentially harmful changes in human cells. The radiation made the cells in blood vessel walls shrink. Repeated exposure could make the blood-brain barrier more permeable, leading to increased brain damage.
2. Bad for psychomotor skills
Knowledge assimilation should be balanced with physical skills such as movement, coordination, manipulation, dexterity, and speed – actions like climbing and jumping rope. The same is true for fine motor skills like handling precision tools or instruments. These skills will be underdeveloped. Giving them a motorized bike is really a bad idea.
3. Literacy development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).
Most kids today do not go out to play. They are either glued to their gadget or stuck on cable TV. Worse, left unsupervised, they could be watching cartoons that are harmful to them.
4. Mental Illness
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010, Mentzoni 2011, Shin 2011, Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children has a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).
5. May turn them to introverts
Haven’t you noticed how friends and families, though physically together, are worlds apart, separated by smartphones and tablets? Fingers busy tapping. Eyes fixed on the gadget. No word exchange. Whatever happened to meaningful conversations to cultivate relationships? Not an ideal training ground for learning social skills for the younger ones.
Gadgets are “shut up” toys and virtual babysitters that help parents do more, but these gadgets are robbing children of how nature designed them to grow – to run, touch, and interact with others.
What parents should be worried about
There have also been reports of early and temporary blindness due to smartphones . Since 2015, nearly twenty people reportedly died after long-term exposure to video games . Flash blindness (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 pose a threat. The first tablet appeared in 2010, we still have a few more years to find out its ramifications.
Allowing your kids to use their gadget for long hours may be preparing them for early blindness, would you risk it?
Blue light is a type of “high energy” light that forms part of the visible light spectrum. Evidence shows intense blue light causes damage to the back of the eye — the retina — and Dr. Kokkinakis says exposure in children could possibly lead to early onset macular degeneration. Allowing your kids to use their gadget for long hours may be preparing them for early blindness, would you risk it?
Essilor, manufacturers of blue light blocking lenses, made a study that showed retina cells grown in a laboratory were completely destroyed when exposed to blue light. Exposure to artificial light, such as a ‘bright white LED,’ is one of the largest often-overlooked health risks of living in the 21st century according to Dr. Mercola.
Learn from Steve
Steve Jobs limited his young daughters’ exposure to technology. Every evening, he made a point of having dinner at the big, long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things.
There are things that gadgets cannot do that only parents can. Traditional hands-on, face-to-face parent-child engagement increases a child’s aptitude for learning. Don’t rob them of the simple joys and pleasures of childhood.
 Jenny S. Radesky, Jayna Schumacher, Barry Zuckerman
 2014 Canada Media Smarts Study
 2013 Common Sense Media Report.
 New England Journal of Medicine
 13 People Who Died Playing Videogames
 Childhood Cognitive Development and Media Use, Elizabeth Karow)