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The impact of screens on hyperactive children

The impact of screens on hyperactive children


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In recent years we have seen electronic devices such as tablets, computers, mobile phones, televisions, consoles, etc. they have "invaded" and changed the leisure time of the little ones.

These devices have entered the daily lives of children without any filter, creating risky effects that can in some way harm the development, health and creativity of young people. But, What is the impact of screen use on hyperactive children?

The impact that screens can have on both emotional and intellectual development of children has long been studied. The effects it produces are diverse:

- Passivity. The use of these devices encourages the passivity of children, reducing their physical activity and preventing their creative and imaginative capacity. It also takes time away from interacting with others in play, an important activity essential for the development of intelligence, learning and social skills.

- Health risks. The risk of being overweight and obese in children is increased. Watching the screen implies less physical exercise and it is also shown that the total intake of food increases when children are in front of a screen. We are facing a new type of sedentary lifestyle, the technological one. This may mean that in the future, when children are adults, they are prone to cardiovascular disease, hypertension or diabetes.

- Sleeping problems. Spending a lot of time in front of the screen causes nightmares, nighttime awakenings, and nighttime problems.

- Aggressiveness. Studies have shown that the violence seen through these screens can be associated with antisocial and aggressive behaviors.

- Language and reading problems. Spending so much time in front of a screen is a barrier to communication and reading. This makes language acquisition and text comprehension difficult, which in turn implies a decline in academic performance in the long term.

- Hyperactivity. Excess stimulation contributes to increased need for movement and nervousness problems.

When the child does not stop still at school, or at home, but when it comes to watching television or playing video games, the opposite happens, many adults are amazed to see how children who are diagnosed as hyperactive remain absorbed and hooked to the screens.

What actually happens is a characteristic of ADHD. These types of children have the ability to concentrate in front of the screen, but not in other places. Hyperactive children have problems with their sustained and direct attention. That is, they have difficulty keeping their attention on what involves mental effort. But when they are in front of a screen, for example playing a video game, they receive quick responses to what they are doing so they receive positive reinforcement increasing their interest and motivation.

We all have a zone of emotional activity in which we perform well. This zone in children with ADHD is very narrow. Being above that zone creates anxiety and below it creates boredom. When a child with ADHD plays in front of a screen, what happens is that he is within his spectrum of emotional activity in which he works well. All the stimuli they need are provided by the video game itself in the very short term and therefore they do not need to move.

In the case of television, as it does not necessarily require sustained attention, they are able to watch it for hours. While they play and spend hours in front of the screen, things like doing homework, going out with friends, playing sports, etc. continue to happen outside. And if there are no limits is when the problems appear.

You can read more articles similar to The impact of screens on hyperactive children, in the category of hyperactivity and attention deficit on site.


Video: The drug-like effect of screen time on the teenage brain (October 2022).