The problem with giving young children the gift of technology

The problem with giving young children the gift of technology. Image - Pixabay

Many young children in Spain will be asking for technological gifts this Christmas, however, this can be detrimental to their health.

Three out of ten Spanish children under the age of four receive gifts with a screen, despite the risk of suffering from insomnia, lack of concentration, dry and red eyes and the development of myopia.

Carlos Crespo, general director of Multiopticas, warns that according to the study they have carried out on Christmas and technology, one in two children includes screens on their wish list.

According to Crespo, who has more than 20 years of experience in the optical and audiological sector, “more and more is being studied how screens affect visual health, since the use of electronic devices is increasing.” And from these studies, the different risks are extracted, such as the development of eye damage and loss of vision.

In his opinion, the time that Spanish children spend in front of screens per day is excessive: “According to the latest study we have carried out, today, 8 out of 10 children have access to screens at bedtime,” he warns, adding that they spend “an average of almost 3 hours a day looking at a screen from a computer, mobile phone, television or tablet.”

In addition, children spend an average of 35 minutes on a device before going to bed, shortening their hours of sleep.

Carlos Crespo considers it “necessary” to limit this use of screens and, according to data from the study by the optical company, 9 out of 10 parents are also in favour of limiting the use of this type of device in some way and 73 per cent believe that this phenomenon negatively affects the eye health of their children.

Crespo assures that, according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), “those under the age of five should not exceed one hour in front of the screen each day, and zero hours for those under one year of age.”

Carlos Crespo believes that it is “fundamental” that the moment in which the screens are used is done in a responsible way and in optimal conditions, such as, for example, having good lighting, using the screens at a safe distance, taking breaks and forcing oneself to blink.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]