It is not just excess screen time that has an impact on your child but also his or her posture during it.
With children relying heavily on gadgets for studying or entertainment, their exposure to the screen also puts them at a risk of developing bad posture, backaches, spondylosis, neck and shoulder strain, pain in wrists, eye strain, headaches, stress, physical fatigue, and compromised immunity, said Dr Jyothi Raghuram, Senior Consultant, pediatrician, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield.
More often than not, kids are found lying on their couches or beds with smartphones, during which their backs are never straight nor their spines aligned. “All these lead to kids complaining of back pains at very tender ages. Doctors highlight that they receive patients even in their teens with a stressed back or spondylosis. They say it’s high time we take note of the situation and make amends before it gets too late,” highlighted Dr Raghuram.
Spondylosis is a general term for wear and tear of the spinal discs. “Spondylosis can affect any of the spine regions; cervical (neck), thoracic (upper, mid-back), lumbar (low back) or lumbosacral (low back/sacrum); however, it is more common in the neck and lower back. Long hours of phone’s usage in improper posture also cause stiffness. Poor posture, obesity, avoiding sports activities, and lack of exercise further enhance the problem,” Dr Raghuram explained.
To say that children need to be kept away from smartphones seems impractical today. Parents, however, need to take steps to reduce their child’s screen time. “Pediatricians, however, still recommend preschoolers to have no more than an hour of screen time during a day. According to pediatricians, there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to kids’ media use. Instead, it’s up to parents to set up a family media plan that resonates with the developmental level of their kids. Parents should aim to organise alternative physical activities by their kids’ age and set sensible limits for their children that makes screen time a part of their day and not all of their day,” the pediatrician suggested.
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