SEHA warns of the dangers of excessive use of modern technology on young children

 The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company "SEHA" stressed the importance of parents playing their role in guiding their young to follow the rules of sound use of modern technology, to reduce its risks to their bodies and brains.

She called on parents to provide their children with alternatives for the time they usually spend using technology, such as practicing hobbies they enjoy, such as reading, drawing and music, and distributing time moderately and wisely between those hobbies and sitting in front of screens.

Dr. Asma Al Marzouqi, Head of the Pediatrics Division at Medical Affairs at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, a SEHA facility, said: “Despite the great benefits of modern technology in accomplishing our daily tasks, ensuring our constant communication and obtaining the services and necessities we need, besides With its recreational and cultural uses among different age groups, this technology has significant negative aspects on public health and safety.”

She added, "The young are more exposed than others to the dangers of modern technology, as their bodies and brains are still in the stage of development and growth, and therefore, some repercussions associated with the excessive use of technology began to appear on this age group, most notably eye fatigue in young people, which is caused by Staring at the screens of electronic devices for a long time, excessive exposure to glare and brightness when these devices are close to their faces, and the emergence of vision problems that accelerate with the increase in screen time, as well as the negative effects of sitting in the wrong positions for long periods.

Al-Marzouki explained that one of the negative effects of the long use of tablets is weight gain as a result of the lack of physical activity associated with sitting for long periods, and following a more stable lifestyle, as most children prefer playing video games or using smart devices to spend their time outdoors, and therefore the lack of Movement and physical activity, along with eating unhealthy food, inevitably lead to an increase in weight, in addition to the tangible effects of excessive use of technological devices on mood swings, depression and sleep quality in young children, which may raise their levels of stress and anxiety, and lead them to nervousness, Show aggressive behaviours.

She pointed out that the exceptional circumstances imposed by the "Covid-19" pandemic on the world, and distance learning, which limited the ability of young people to practice activities and exercises, and spend more time in front of screens, exacerbated the problems of eye fatigue, weight gain, obesity and mental health among the children. Young children, with a marked increase in cases of depression caused by a lack of social interaction.

Dr. Asmaa Al-Marzouqi stressed the role of parents to reduce the negative effects of using modern technology by directing their children to follow sound rules of use that give young people's eyes, bodies and minds an opportunity for the necessary rest they need, as well as finding alternatives to the time that children usually spend using technology, such as practicing hobbies they enjoy. Such as reading, drawing and music, distributing time moderately and wisely between those hobbies and sitting in front of screens, and that parents are keen to expose their children daily to the sun for a daily period of 30 to 45 minutes, while practicing physical activities in the open air, such as walking, swimming or riding Cycling, running or other activities that help avoid the risks of obesity and keep their bodies healthy.

She called on parents to encourage their children to do light exercise at home, such as challenge and hide-and-seek games, traditional competitions, or online exercise sessions, which are tailored to their age, and to provide healthy food options for youngsters, and to keep their bodies hydrated. She also advised them to be patient while dealing with their children, as The circumstances of the spread of the pandemic have an impact on everyone, especially on the young, and it is important to allocate some time to talk and dialogue with them, know and understand their feelings, while making sure to reassure them and support them, which greatly helps in enhancing their mental health.

She also called on parents to note signs of pain or stress in the eyes of young children, such as difficulty seeing from a certain distance or a sense of blurred vision, headaches, sleep disturbances, sudden weight gain, feelings of depression, angry and nervous reactions, etc., and when any Of these signs and symptoms clearly, parents should hurry to see a specialist pediatrician, to receive appropriate advice and work to prevent the exacerbation of these symptoms.

She stressed the importance of good role models, which are necessary for young people who usually tend to imitate adults around them, pointing to the need for parents to spend more time with their children, invent new ways to practice usual activities, and limit the use of modern technology devices, in front of young children, and stay away from them as much as possible.

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