Heavy Usage of Electronic Devices Could Be Harmful for the Mental Health of Children

Heavy Usage of Electronic Devices Could Be Harmful for the Mental Health of Children

It’s entirely normal for kids to be curious about electronic devices such as phones, tablets, or laptops. It’s wonderful, and it can be the beginning of that child becoming a very wise individual when he’ll be an adult. But unfortunately, in some situations, using electronic devices could even be harmful to a child’s mind.

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open raises awareness about the exposure of children to electronic devices during the COVID pandemic. The study was held on more than 2,000 Canadian kids between two and 18 years of age. The parents were also asked to complete surveys about their children’s mental health.

Maximum 1 to 2 hours of screen use per day are recommended

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Canadian Pediatric Society are there to recommend for the little ones that 1 to 2 hours of screen use every day is enough.

Dr. Catherine S. Birken, who is a co-author of the study, declared for United Press International (UPI):

Compared to children and youth with lower screen use, those with higher screen use had higher levels of mental health symptoms,

The more time kids spent on screens, the larger the effect was.

For instance, heavy usage of video games was associated with irritability, inattention, depression, and hyperactivity.

Another interesting statement says the following, as quoted by Fox News:

In this cohort study, different types of screen use were associated with distinct mental health symptoms in children and youth during COVID-19, suggesting that not all screen use is equal. Our findings may help inform public health guidelines that consider different forms of screen use in prevention of mental health disorders in children and youth during the pandemic.

We would be glad to find out your own opinion on the subject. Would you be more hesitant in letting your child be exposed to electronic devices from now on?

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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