According to Fast Company, parents using mobile phones in front of their children can affect their nervous system development and pose a health hazard to their children as second-hand smoke. The full text of the article: In 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first warned of the dangers of second-hand smoke. In fact, as early as about 30 years ago, scientists have concluded that smoking can cause cancer. At present, more and more research points to a new indirect health hazard.
Just as regular lying to smokers causes cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other diseases, what I call “second-hand screen time” can also be harmful to children.
Parents may unknowingly become addicted to their mobile phones by not paying attention to the time they spend using their phones.
Mobile phone addiction does exist.
Ten years ago, in my writing class, students couldn’t help but look at my phone in a 50-minute class, inspiring my interest in screen usage. My students are becoming less and less willing to put down their phones, as are other classes.
Curious about my students’ cell phone usage, I began to study the problem of screen addiction and did research on it. About 20 percent of students used the term “addiction” when describing their mobile phone usage habits, and more expressed concern about their use of mobile phones.
Although students are encouraged to check their own habits, they are less likely to blame their tech addiction than they did 10 years ago. Many of them use too much of their mobile phone habits from adults – especially as they grow up.
Brushing Twitter in front of a child doesn’t seem like the same thing as spitting a cigarette in their face. But smartphones and cigarettes have something in common. Both are addictive, and they were already popular until researchers understood their addictive and health hazards.
U.S. adults touch mobile phones an average of more than 2,500 times a day. According to the American Psychiatric Association, this is already an addiction. Although researchers continue to study the effects of cell phone use, the academic community agrees that mobile addiction is real.
Mobile phones become a favorite for infants and young children
What do parents do when they are breastfeeding their children or sleeping with them?
They may be watching the news, checking e-mail, chatting with friends, or swiping a circle of friends. Watching children means being isolated from the outside world, and a mobile phone or tablet becomes a gateway for parents to connect with the outside world.
But children, even infants, will notice these habits of parents. They will see parents constantly touching “magical objects” that glow, sound and display moving images.
Who doesn’t want such an interesting toy? The problem is that if the desire for a cell phone is created in infancy, it may become a second nature.
Watching mobile phones affect nervous system development
Some researchers have found a link between long screen use , especially cell phone use , and inattention, behavioural problems, sleep problems, low social skills, loneliness, anxiety and depression.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Israel Educational Neuroimaging Center recently published a paper in JAMA Pediatrics that describes the cognitive-behavioral risks associated with preschool children’s exposure to screen-based media, including video games, television, websites, and applications. The study found that mobile phones are particularly problematic because they allow users to use all of the media described above. The researchers found that watching the screen affects the formation of the nervous system associated with language development, expression and reading skills.
These studies point to another consequence of excessive screen use, especially for younger children. Since 96 percent of Americans have a cell phone, the risk is better understood that many babies have access to it soon after birth.
To be sure, because people use devices in so many ways, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine how long Americans watch screens. Since not all screen time is affected by the same amount, some experts have called for a “human screen group plan” to assess what people do with the screen and to figure out what their consequences are.
The brain is still developing.
Younger children are more likely to become addicted to the same substance or behavior when they are exposed to harmful, habit-forming behaviors, such as smoking or gambling. Exposure to secondhand smoke itself is also easy for children to become addicted to tobacco.
While scientists aren’t sure whether children who watch their parents use their phones will become addicted to them, there is plenty of evidence that children learn and imitate their parents’ behavior. Children may be more eager for such “prohibitions” if they see their parents engaging in activities that are prohibited from engaging in, and they do not appear to be harmful.
My mother smoked all her life, and when she first smoked, she was only 12 years old. One day after dinner, my grandfather and grandmother– two people who smoked a few packs of cigarettes a day, lit them, and gave her the cigarette box. It was the 1950s, and the dangers of smoking were not known.
Instead of coughing, she felt like she had “ascended to heaven”. My grandfather and grandmother often smoke in front of her, which makes her very much want to smoke, try the taste of smoking.
Whenever I see a toddler using a cell phone – just as they were born using it – I immediately think of my mother’s smoking story.
In the restaurant, I’ve seen my parents give their iPhones to two-year-olds to play with – just to keep them from crying, just as my parents put me in front of the TV, and the difference is that I can’t move the TV to the table or anywhere else.
John Hutton, a pediatrician, studies the effects of cell phone use on children. He found that about 90 percent of American children had access to a cell phone before the age of one, and it was not uncommon for 2-3 yearolds to see it.
It’s hard to get rid of your cell phone addiction.
The brain does not stop developing until the age of 25, so childhood habits can have a significant and lasting effect. Teenagers’ brains are particularly adventurous, aggressive and impulsive, research shows.
Isn’t that enough to give us some insight into why so many teenagers are addicted to mobile phones?
My students describe the unsettling and dismayful silence of sitting at a table or in a dorm, while others are addicted to their cell phones. Mobile phones help them complete a lot of important communication, especially with friends and family.
But while at school, they realize what they’ve lost after spending too much time on their phones, and they can assess their habits and make changes if they want to, but they never think it’s normal to give up their phones altogether.
However, 2 months or 2-year-olds do not have this ability because their brains are still developing and they cannot completely control their impulses.
Most adults may not be able to control impulses. But because today’s adults are tasked with nurturing the next generation, we should be concerned about the second-generation effects of our behavior. (Author/Frost Leaf)