Device overuse causing kids to miss out

More children can manoeuvre around a tablet than swim, tie their shoe laces or tell the time, according to new study

A recent study carried out on behalf of contact lens retailer Lenstore, has revealed that children are losing touch with vital life skills due to digital device overuse. 

More than half of children aged between two and 10 feel more confident using a tablet than learning to swim, telling the time and tying their shoe laces.

According to the new research which surveyed 2,000 UK parents of children aged 2-16 years, the average UK child is more likely to confidently use a mobile phone before being able to read or ride a bike. 

In an age where tablets, smartphones and laptops are an integral part of our daily lives and aid our children’s ongoing learning and development, the research reveals that our tech-savvy children are actually growing up lacking key life skills.

With the average child spending almost eight hours a day on technology, our children’s digital diets are further fuelling the debate in the rise of childhood obesity. Worryingly, the majority of parents identified ‘online gaming’ as the main function of their child’s digital habits with the even more shocking confession that over half of the parents surveyed never actually monitor their child’s online activity.

When comparing children’s digital overuse across regions in the UK, children in London were found to spend on average over 10 hours a day on digital devices – the highest in the country.

During the study, it was found that one in three children aged 2-4 own a tablet and spend on average more than five hours using digital devices per day.

Dr Rob Hogan, a registered optometrist and council member of the general optical council (GOC) explains that “at the age of two, although a child’s eyesight is in fact developed enough to use the devices, sessions must be short and supervised to avoid long term damage.”

He also states the importance of “limiting access just before bedtime”, as research has found that the ‘blue-ish’ light emitted from these devices may disrupt normal sleep patterns and can be damaging to eyesight, potentially causing vision to deteriorate over time.

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