KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The excessive use of electronic gadgets by children can delay their mental and emotional development, in addition to having the risk of developing myopia at a young age.
Dr Azura Ramlee, ophthalmologist at Prof Muhaya Eye & Lasik Center (PMELC), said the growing number of cases of myopia in children due to frequent use of gadgets was an issue that needed to be addressed urgently.
“The use of gadgets in children should not exceed two hours a day,” she told Bernama.
She said a study in 2005 showed that 9.8% of seven-year-olds suffered from nearsightedness and 34.4% of those aged 15.
“The use of gadgets in children (at that time) was still (comparatively) low, and now the statistics are expected to increase with uncontrolled use. Many patients who come to treat blurry vision have a habit of looking at screens. digital for long periods of time, ”she said.
Dr Azura added that the American Academy of Pediatrics had recommended no screen time for children under two, while it was one hour per day for children three to five years old, from one to one and a half hours per day for children aged six to 10, and two hours for children from 11 to 13 years old.
She said the recommendations could serve as a guide for parents to start controlling their children’s time with gadgets.
Deputy Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh previously said the influence of gadgets on children in the country was at an alarming rate, and a survey by the National Population and Family Development Authority revealed that 78.3% of parents in Klang Valley allowed their children to have gadgets.
Meanwhile, Professor Datuk, University of Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia Consulting Psychologist Mohamed Fadzil Che Din, said excessive use of gadgets in children could negatively impact their mental and emotional development processes, if it is not handled properly.
“For example, if there is no gadget (to play with), an aggressive child will get angry and exhibit behaviors such as kicking doors, banging on the desk, etc., while those who are not can show their anger in latent ways such as sulking, remaining silent and running away, “he said.
However, Dr Mohamed Fadzil said that children’s addiction to gadgets can be overcome slowly by exposing themselves to other activities such as drawing.
Meanwhile, Nurul Aida Abd Razak, 35, said her son Muhammad Fahmy Mohamed Fadzly, now nine, had worn glasses since he was six.
“One of the reasons my son has to wear glasses is that he likes to use his cell phone in the dark at night to watch cartoons and play games.
“The lens power of my son’s glasses is 250 on both sides … and now I limit his use of gadgets. He can only use them on weekends for one to two hours a day,” he said. she said, urging other parents to control their children’s use of digital gadgets to avoid such a situation. – Bernama