“Truthfully, I am getting worried of how technology can further change us in the future. Just look at our kids now, they are so different compared to what we have enjoyed before. It is saddening to know that they can no longer enjoy the outdoor funs we used to do when we were kids.”
While discussing the hospital’s popular “Doctor-For-A-Day” app, I asked him for his general perspective on apps and children’s usage of them. Afterall, we have been reminded multiple times that too much “device time” is bad for our young ones. But the reality is that mobile phones, tablets, watches, and other technical gadgets are currently very much prevalent and they will not be ousted any time soon.
Today, many of us accept the usage of gadgets and apps especially when they are utilised in learning environments. Many schools, even preschools, use such resources to facilitate learning in their classrooms. Dr. Lau encourages parents to look at the bigger picture, and to consider the valuable learning opportunities and potential implications of apps for their children’s education. He also suggests that parents should play an active role in managing their children’s usage of apps.
Just like movie ratings are necessary to keep children away from violence, inappropriate language, and adult themes, guidance is necessary to ensure that children remain on the right track during their use of apps.
What Is Recommended?
There is actually no official recommendation relating to children’s usage of mobile apps on smartphones, tablets or iPads. While the American Academy of Paediatrics says no to passive media influence (from video and television) and screen time for toddlers under the age of two, the organisation has no comment regarding older children’s use of touchscreen gadgets.
There have been no significant findings recently. However, a 2013 study conducted by Common Sense Media (a San Francisco-based non-profit child advocacy group) stated that nearly 40% of children under two years old have used a …