Parents Should Monitor Their Kids Tech-using Behavior - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Parents Should Monitor Their Kids Tech-using Behavior

The Siazon Family The Siazon Family
Cyd Kamakea Cyd Kamakea
Malie Sasaki Malie Sasaki
Dr. Gina French talks about what parts of the brain using tech gadgets stimulates. Dr. Gina French talks about what parts of the brain using tech gadgets stimulates.

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

Remember when your mom or dad would always tell you not to watch too much t.v. because it's bad for you? Today, kids are glued to a different set of screens like smart-phones, iPads, computers and laptops.

Hop on YouTube and you'll see it's not just kids, but babies as young as 3 months old connected to this mobile devices.

With so many fun apps to choose from, parents say getting their kids off these gadgets can be tough.

"At one point, Angry Birds consumed his life and we had to take the game away for like two weeks," said Aisah Siazon.

"It actually scares me a little bit because I think that kids need to develop that social personality and I don't think it's right that they hide behind phones," said Cyd Kamakea.

Malie Sasaki said, "They can really get into it so each child gets an hour on the weekends."

According to a national study, about 40 percent of 2 to 4 year olds have used some type of technological device. 1 in 5 parents give their children these gadgets to keep them busy while running errands.

Pediatricians like Dr. Gina French are concerned about these "tech-saturated toddlers".

"For older kids, the more screen time they have, we know there's an association with lower school grades because they're spending less time studying but for very young children, pediatricians are very concerned."

Dr. French says long-term use of electronic entertainment can have a negative affect on the way a child thinks and behaves.

"Specifically, something like Angry Birds is going to stimulate visual motor coordination of a very specific type as long as it involves your index finger and you can plan where that bird is going to be hit. What you don't stimulate is verbal skills, you don't stimulate really problem solving skills of any high order you don't stimulate social interactive skills which for the very young child is very important."

The American Academy of Pediatrics says children 2 and older should only be allowed 2 hours of screen time or less per day. For children under 2, it recommends no screen time.

"Video games, t.v., movies, and it doesn't matter whether it's supposedly educational or not."

Dr. French suggests real interactions like playing a game with the family and going back to the basics of reading to your child at least 15 minutes everyday.

"The more they talk with adults, the more words they learn".


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