During the holidays, smart devices are pushed by retailers as the hottest technology gifts for everyone in the family. This usually includes children, who are now growing up in an age of technology that is targeting younger and younger consumers.
Before you commit to buying your child a tablet or smartphone, there are some things to consider on if you should purchase these, or how you can limit their use.
What’s the harm?
While technology can help advance our children these days, it can also do more damage than good when misused. Some of the issues parents need to consider are:
- Harmful blue light that can cause eye strain and early retinol damage
- Addiction to devices
- Too much brain stimuli that can cause insomnia or night terrors
- Too much access to outside sources such as the internet.
What can be done to prevent these problems?
The good news is that most manufacturers of these devices have taken these issues under consideration, and now offer certain restrictions or features on most devices, especially those marketed towards children. Some of these include:
- Parental controls that can limit everything from viewable content to purchases and time spent on the device.
- Automatic “dimmers” that put the device in night modes to reduce blue-light rays.
- Internet restrictions that require passwords or passcodes to limit internet access on everything from Smartphones to gaming devices.
What can parents do?
Even with these new features, it’s important for parents to take a role in protecting their children from improper use of these devices.
- Talk with your kids about responsibility, and what you expect from them regarding using these devices.
- Limit time on these devices, especially close to bedtime. Try to take away devices three hours before it’s time to sleep to calm their minds and protect their eyes.
Use the parental control features and dimmer features on anything available. If your child wears glasses, consider investing in a pair of BluTech blue-light blocking lenses to keep their eyes protected from harmful blue-violet light.