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‘Overuse of mobile devices has detrimental effects on children’

Fifth conference on modern childhood underway

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 4, (KUNA): The overuse of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and lack of parental control could have detrimental effects on lives of children, a group of Kuwaiti experts have concurred.

The usage of electronic devices have led to a remarkable surge in the number of children who suffer from neck and shoulder pains, headache, obesity and sleeping problems, family therapist Dr Ahmad Abdulmalek in a speech at the fifth conference on modern childhood kicked off in the Kuwait National Library Sunday. He lamented that such a kind of health problems used to be linked to aging and elderly people, but now spread among children due to the use of mobile devices.

Due to the numerous health hazards they cause, the latest studies published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that children under the age of two years should not given any screen time at all, noted Abdulmalek.

He added that the AAP also suggested that over three-year-olds could be given an hour a day screen time, but not at sleeping or eating times, and under the watchful eyes of the parents.

Furthermore, Professor of Psychology at the Kuwait University Amthal Al-Howaila warned that the electronic gadgets could gravely affect people in general and children in particular.

The new technology is misusing people, invading their spaces, destroying their human relations and isolating them from each other, she regretted. She pointed to a steadily growth in number of children suffering from isolation and depression due to the lack of human-to-human interaction and overuse of mobile devices.

Al-Howaila urged families to raise the awareness of their children about the dangers of those devices and to provide them with real-world alternatives. She advised families to help their children focus on fostering their hobbies, making friendships and healthy relations with peers and practicing sports.

By Handi Al Bolushi

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