Phones and tablets are used as silencers to keep young children entertained at home, on public transport, or on family visits. Misuse of technology can cause serious problems in the long run.
What are the harms of the phone to the child, at what age should a phone be bought for the child and how to prevent tablet addiction, we talked about them in this article.
What are the harms of mobile phone to children?
With the developing technology, one of our biggest needs has been smart devices. Tablets and phones have a different place because they are always kept at hand. This situation inevitably increased the use of tablet phones in children. In recent years, pedagogues have often focused on the harms of using the phone at a young age. Because, according to them, the main thing for the child to do is to play.
However, parents who use technology in the wrong way cannot guide their children well in this regard. Internet and phone addiction is now considered a disease. Let’s talk about the harms of using phones and tablets in children.
1. It’s addictive
Children who are exposed to screens intensely show different symptoms according to age. Especially in the 0-3 age period, which has a critical role in child development, children who spend a lot of time with TV, tablet or computer may experience retardation in their language skills.
The phone addiction of a 2-year-old child is entirely due to the fault of the family. Holding a tablet or phone to the child’s hand and making them watch cartoons just so that they can eat their food may cause permanent loss of appetite in the child, as well as cause tablet addiction.
These smart devices become drugs for the child after a while. The child wants to break away from his social environment and play games on the phone or watch something on the tablet. In later periods, problems such as anger control, attention disorder , incompatibility with friends and failure in lessons arise. That’s how great the harms of playing with tablets are, so experts recommend that these devices should not be used in any way between the ages of 0-2, and that their use should be limited to 1 hour in later childhood.
2. It causes headaches
It has been observed that the microwaves emitted by mobile phones travel a few centimeters through bone and soft tissue, and their energy is absorbed in the brain and nerve tissue. The effects that we can all easily feel are that phone conversations over 6 minutes increase the temperature of the ear and brain tissue and cause headaches. Therefore, long-term use caused by phone addiction in children can cause headaches at an early age.
3. It damages the brain
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the damage of the phone to the brain is much greater in children. Since their tissues are thinner and softer, electromagnetic waves are more effective on children’s bodies than adults. Since the development of brain tissue lasts until the age of 20, the damage of phones and tablets to the brain is greater in those who use these devices during infancy.
4. Causes hearing loss
According to a 2008 study by the American ENT Academy, it was revealed that children who use cell phones for 1 hour or more a day are more likely to develop hearing loss. Isn’t it really a bad thing to put a phone in the baby’s hand when it’s still small so that it will stop crying?
5. Causes deterioration of the eyes
According to a study conducted at the University of Utah, the microwaves emitted from cell phones are especially damaging to the eye lenses of children. In similar studies, it has been determined that these waves can cause problems such as cataracts by affecting the eye tissue of children.
Children are the biggest victims of cyberbullying. The pedophile individuals who communicate with children through fake accounts can make them do whatever they want by establishing emotional friendships with them. Unfortunately, work can reach sexual dimensions.
As you can see, if the phone is used uncontrollably and its use is not followed, the damage of the phone to the child is quite high. So, what you do as a parent shouldn’t be just to give the child a phone call. Details such as at what age your child is doing this, whether your child is mature enough, whether he really needs it, the duration of use of the devices and the pages he visits are very important.
At what age should a child get a phone?
It is difficult to agree on this issue. Tech billionaires like Bill Gates say that screen time is very important for toddlers and they don’t buy their own cell phones until they’re 14.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, on the other hand, does not recommend an exact age for smartphones in its media usage guidelines. They state that the child-phone relationship should be controlled by monitoring parents and limiting screen time.
Maturation is an important criterion!
Some experts say that phones are a tool for adolescents to interact with their peers, and that prohibiting phone use in children may harm their social development. It is said that there is no problem when the child can grasp the value of face-to-face communication. Although it is not possible to talk about such a thing as the age limit for receiving a phone for a child, it is important to at least wait until the child is 12 years old and keep the phone use to a minimum between the ages of 13-20.
In addition, parents should be careful about using their mobile phones in front of their children. So, it’s partly about the way you adapt technology to yourself. If you want to get a phone call for your child at an earlier stage, the following questions may give you an idea of the extent to which this is necessary.
- Do you want to stay in touch with your child for safety or social reasons?
- Do you know if your child will disturb his surroundings by playing on the phone, sending messages and photos during class?
- Do you think your child will comply with the concept of limits on phone usage time and apps downloaded?
It will be easier for you to decide when you consider your answers to these questions and the way you use technological devices in the family.