Cuttack: Parents be aware. Children under 12 years of age are most likely to face physical as well as mental health issues if they are addicted to smartphones, said an expert from SCB Medical College and Hospital here.
Citing a study report, Satyakam Mahapatra, an expert at the Mental Health Institute (MHI) at SCBMCH, claimed that below 12-year old children are most likely to face memory loss, sleeping disorders, low food intake, depression, loneliness and irritation due to excessive use of smartphones.
“Excessive use of smartphones may hinder brain development among children. Besides, children may suffer from depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) through maximum exposure to smartphones,” Mahapatra added.
Apart from mental issues, children will feel pain in their necks, waists and some other joints for using smartphones continuously. “Children are watching videos and playing games on smartphones for hours. This overuse of smartphone is causing headache and eye diseases among kids. Many children are showing less interest in their studies due to addiction to phones,” Mahapatra argued.
The mental health expert has advised parents not to allow their wards to use smartphones more than an hour per day.
“Children should not be allowed to use smartphones after the sunset. Parents should monitor their children when they are using phones,” Mahapatra said.
The senior doctor also advised parents to opt for minimal use of smartphones in front of their children. “Children usually follow the footsteps of their parents. So, parents must not play video games and watch videos on smartphones in front of their children. They should contact mental health experts if there is any sudden change in the behaviour of their children,” Mahapatra added.