Should small children be banned from devices?

I am a mum of today’s modern world with all its conveniences. And I’ll admit, my kids were on devices when they were really young. BUT we also, finger painted, read (real) books, played at the park, swam, jumped on the bed, and built lego among the many other things the day brought with it.

Devices are a part of what the world is today, no two ways about it but I truly believe in moderation and shaking up the schedule. Like everything else in life, I try to find a good balance – somedays the balance can be way off but ultimately we always find a way to make things work for our family and do what’s best for our kids.

 

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By AFP Health/RelaxNews

Regulators and programme makers are at odds over whether small children should be banned from watching television or using tablets and smartphones.

France urges parents not to allow children under three to watch TV, and American paediatricians also favour a total ban on screen time until at least 18 months.

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Carole Bienaime-Besse, who sits on France’s TV regulator, the CSA, claimed Sunday that overexposing babies and small children to digital devices has become a “public health issue”.

“People are realising that screens can cause addiction even among very small children, and in extreme cases autistic problems – what is called virtual autism,” she said. Studies show that “children over-exposed to them are the ones who find it hardest at school,” she said.

“All the big tech executives send their children to Montessori schools without screens and just blackboards. And Steve Jobs of Apple did not allow his children to use an iPad,” she pointed out.

Bienaime-Bess said parents had to wake up to “what we are holding in our hands. A child who cannot defend themselves should be protected from the harm that these very useful tools can bring. Kids should become masters of technology by learning coding” rather than being slaves to it”, she said.

France banned its broadcasters from targetting under-threes in 2008, and blocked Fox-owned BabyTV from launching there. But some programme-makers insist that bans do not work, especially with so many parents using television and devices to “babysit” their children.

“It is admirable, but probably unrealistic” to try to keep small children away from screens, said Alice Webb, who heads the BBC’s children’s arm, CBBC, and the CBeebies network for pre-school children. “Those times are long gone. Digital is everywhere. This is a tide you cannot get ahead of,” she told top TV executives Sunday at the MIPJunior gathering at Cannes on the French Riviera.

“We have games and apps that are about helping children develop the cognitive skills that a two-year-old needs. This is about learning on screen and in the real world at the same time, it is not an either or and it’s all about moderation,” Webb argued.

The BBC is holding a global summit in December to try to put heads together on how children might be better served and protected.

The above article is reproduced with permission from AFP Relaxnews/Health; leisure news agency, with news on upbeat, practical and entertaining subject matter on a worldwide basis.

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