Using mobile phones, tablets and computers for too long may not just ruin children’s eyes, but also cause a host of other problems.
The excessive of the gadgets could result in children getting addicted to them, ultimately making them socially reclusive, doctors said.
This means, apart from the physical damage, brain development and social skills could also get hampered.
“Parents find it easier to keep children occupied with a gadget, instead of taking them outdoors.
We have found that children who spend too many hours on such devices tend to lose social skills, affecting their overall development,” said Dr Anjali Chabbria, a psychiatrist.
Psychologists said irrespective of social and economic status, children have easy access to internetlinked devices. “Studies have indicated that gaming for long hours alters the brain.
Although games can help improve concentration, a healthy balance is necessary,” added Chabbria.
Some parents, however, set strict limits on its use. “I have restricted my son’s mobile phone gaming to 10 minutes only. Sometimes, he gets lazy and prefers to sit at home and play.
In such a situation, I set a timer for 10 minutes, after which he has to go outdoors,” said Santacruz resident Sonali Jain, who has an eight-year old son.
While Indian metropolitan cities, which are touted as major markets for such devices, are facing gadget or internet addiction, the Japanese government has already reportedly introduced ‘internet fasting’ to help children use the internet less.
“We have found that these children tend to neglect other activities and also lose control on their impulses.
“For their physical development, children need to be outdoors, but are instead sitting in the comfort of their homes surfing the internet on their phones and playing games,” said a doctor from a medical college, who is studying internet addiction among college students.