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Excessive use of electronic devices harmful to kid's physical, mental growth

DHAKA, Mar 2, 2018 (BSS)-Children who spend most of their times with electronic devices, like video games, smart phones and computers, are at higher risk for developing physical and mental disorders.

Parents often give electronic devices to their children to keep them calm but such an innocent act could put their children into a long-term problem as electronic devices have both positive and negative impact, especially for kids, said child specialists.

They said the excessive use of electronic devices makes slower the physical growth and mental development of children. Children especially in urban areas fall victim to such habit as parents are forced to keep children at home due to lack of playgrounds or recreation centers in their vicinity.

Abeed (pseudonym), a three years old child, is not developing properly for last one year. Various behavioral disorders, including communication problems, using unnecessary words and lack of eagerness to studies, are found in him.

"We become worried about my child because his behavior is not normal. He was not like that at the age of two," said Abeed's parents.

They said, "As we both are bankers, we could not give enough time to our child. So, most of the time, my child spends with his grandmother."

"His grandmother and we were very happy as he could not have disturbed us. Even we were able to feed him easily when he would have played games on mobile phone," they added.

At the age of two, Abeed's parents noticed some changes in his behavior and went to a doctor. After diagnosis, the doctor identified some symptoms of behavioral disorders.

Like Abeed, Samir (not a real name), a six-year old child, are suffering some behavioral disorders from his three years old. As his parents also service holder, they could not give him enough time. So, Samir also spent most of the time with playing games on mobile phone.

Talking to BSS, Dr Gopen Kumar Kundu, associate professor of Paediatric Neurology Department of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said a child's brain develops rapidly during the first three years. It is a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and motor development, he added.

"In the first year, a child learns how to walk, in second year, he learns how to run and in third year, he learns how to jump. So, the period is very important for child growth and development," he said.

The neurology expert said excessive electronic exposure can create addiction which can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, poor health, time management and eating habits.

Referring to many scientists, he said the radiation of the mobile phone, or other electronic devices may also hinder the development of a little child as the brain cell does not work properly.

"It is important for children to spend some time for outdoor activities with family and friends. The times spent on the devices may curb their social communication," he added.

He advised parents to ensure proper environment for their children. "The parents will have to ensure sound sleep for the children. Otherwise, expected growth and development of their children will not take place, he added.

Dhaka University Computer Science and Engineering Department chairman Professor Dr Shabbir Ahmed said in a commonsense, the radiation of mobile phone is harmful to human health. But how much harmful which is a subject for research.

Several researches took place in this regard, but no one can measure the actual results, he added.

He said a group of scientists claimed radiation from mobile phone is harmful but another group said it is harmless.