Does Technology Make Kids Fat and Dumb?

June 29, 2017

Real Research On the Tough Questions of the Digital Age

Trying to raise kids to be active and healthy in the digital age can be a challenge. Screen time and screen addiction means more sedentary kids. So does technology make kids fat? Or dumb?

A few of the tougher questions have to be explored …

Can a kid’s brain rot from watching too much TV?

Research has actually shown that leaving the TV on in the background or placing a child in front of it, can have an effect on the child’s learning process. It also reduces the time that parents and children interact with each other. That, too, can have a negative impact on learning and development.

In addition, many experts agree that having a TV in a kid’s bedroom can reduce quality sleep needed for alertness and learning.

To increase learning and development in children, it may be more beneficial to pick a certain time during the day for TV time rather than having it on in the background. Kids may also learn better when the television is not allowed in the bedrooms.

As for brain rot however? Not likely.

Can kids become fat from watching too much TV or playing video games?

There may be a link between binge-watching TV and increased body mass index in kids that are glued to a screen versus kids that play outside. The connection between child obesity and TV or video games is not just the result of little exercise. The constant commercials advertising sugary foods and drinks can make it worse.

Kids need plenty of exercise. Limiting TV time or setting limits on video game play can eliminate the worry on whether or not it could become a factor for weight gain.

Will kids get cancer from using their cell phone so much?

There continues to be a lot of research regarding this question, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence supporting the notion that cell phones produce enough radiation to cause cancer.

However, if you are still concerned about harmful radiation, there may be some things to remember. Most children communicate by text message or apps so the phone isn’t typically resting against their ear. Making sure that kids don’t sleep with their phone underneath their pillow can be an extra precaution. It’s simply not a good practice anyway.

Can kids get screen addiction?

If kids are on their devices so much that it’s negatively impacting other areas, it’s time to set limits on digital device time. Screen addiction is a real thing and it’s incredibly prevalent among kids today.

Setting a balance between the time spent on digital devices, homework, school activities, physical activity and TV time can establish healthier patterns for the future.

Can video games make kids violent?

When kids are consistently exposed to violent behavior through television or video games, they can have a higher risk of acting out aggressively. Other risk factors that could impact a child’s behavior negatively are exposure to substance abuse and physical or emotional abuse within the home.

Make sure video games are age-appropriate, non-violent and portray healthy values. Know what TV programming or online content is being watched.

Can your child carry on a conversation face-to-face?

In this technology-driven era, it’s important to make sure kids can still carry on a conversation face-to-face. Communicating effectively with others is imperative for a career in a professional environment later in life or for any employment in general.

If kids struggle socially because of too much time spent on their digital devices, teach them how to communicate more effectively through an increased exposure to life outside of their devices.

Posted in Safe Planning on June 29, 2017

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About the Author Amy WIlliams

Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.

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