Excessive use of gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, and computer desktops can cause physical and mental damage to children. According to a study, a child will likely to become overweight and develop seizure and vision problems when they spend too much time using gadgets. In Central Visayas, one of the regions in the Philippines, a National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region 7 study reported that 3% of children are considered as obese and overweight.
A health article also states that the thinking and emotional development during the first five years of a child is crucial. Allowing them to spend more than two hours a day can impact irreversible damage such as slow cognitive development and attention deficit.
“Parents and caregivers have the greatest responsibility to discipline children and control their exposure to gadgets,” said Dr. Parolita Mission, head of the NNC Region 7.
There can be many ways to prevent children from too much tapping on their game app or watching their favorite channel on YouTube.
A health article advises parents to discipline their children by limiting the time of their gadget use. It is also recommended that they spend more time with their offspring and let them understand the matter.
One of the best ways is to involve them with an outdoor hobby.
Keeping them active on sports or other physical activity will distract them and would even improve their physical wellness.
One school in Antique takes this seriously and involves their students with ball games and gardening. Every morning during school days, children would gather on a school garden complete with gardening tools and tend to their fruit and vegetable crops. While others grab a ball and play in the open field.
“Aside from learning how to plant, our students also develop an active hobby,” shares Andy Rios, their schoolteacher. “Twice a week, they tend to their vegetable plants – digging the garden plot and removing weeds.”
“We learn gardening from our books but it is a different experience to do it in real life,” 10-year-old John Bernard, one of the students, expressed how he likes going to the garden during the morning with his classmates. “At home, I began helping my mother in tending our backyard garden.”
World Vision, a child-focused organization, supports the promotion of healthy lifestyle among children. The organization donated garden facilities and tools.
“As a parent and a child advocate, establishing a healthy lifestyle among kids can be vital of how they take care of themselves during adulthood,” says Divine Relano, Program Staff of World Vision. “Technology can be helpful to us but it should be used in moderation.”World Vision/March 9, 2018
By Mong Jimenez, Field, and Emergency Communications Specialist
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