Technology

Kids Playing Outside, What’s That?

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Where did the electronics go? Ohh no I lost my phone I think I’m going to have PSD! something you would have laughed at if someone was to say 5-10 years ago. Nowadays people are so addicted to their technology that having separating anxiety from your phone is a diagnosed thing now. What is all this electronic use doing to our kids and is it an issue or is being outside overrated?

 

Electronics

Electronics are impossible to get away from but that doesn’t mean we should constantly have a screen in front of our face especially for children and teens. Studies are unsure of what all this screen time is doing because of how new it is and the lack of studies that have been done; however, Dr. Gaya Dowling, of the National Institutes of Health, started a long term study. Dr. Gaya Dowling scanned children’s brain who used seven hours of screen time a day and planes on following them for a decade to see what the result is. Dr. Gaya Dowling talked about the children who had more than seven hours of screen time a day had brains that were structured differently. Their brain cortex is thinned compared to other kids with less screen time. While Dr. Gaya Dowling is saying they don’t know if this a bad thing other people are speculating that it will affect the memory, emotional skills, IQ scores, and cognitive skills.  scientists are trying to understand what no one currently does: how all that screen time impacts the physical structure of your kids’ brains, as well as their emotional development and mental health.

 

Children screen time

In today’s society, most kids are used to instant gratification and This can be an issue.  With a lot of young children growing up on screens their brains are wired differently and don’t know the difference.  When a child reads a book on an iPad or just uses a pad whatever they do will have an effect instantly, teaching the brain that is how life is. Yes, as children get older they will have instant gratification with today’s technology but isn’t it best if they know the difference because of experience.

Even using the iPad to read to a young child can adverse effects because their is so much going on the screen over stimulates the child’s brain. Development wise a person reading a book and looking at the illustrations does wonder for a child’s brain. The scientist is also looking to see what looking at a screen does to your eyes especially at a young age such a toddler.

When you play a video game you know you are not actually shooting stabbing or killing someone but did you know that your body and physiology does not know that, and responds as if you were actually doing the action in your video game.  This can have an adverse effect because your body is releasing more endorphins then it should in response to the video game. This, in turn, will make your response to actual events not as active because your body has gone through it a lot more then it actually has. 

Some other issues with children and teens having too much screen are:

  • sleep deprivation
  • obesity
  • the nervous system is overstimulated
  • light interferes with the brain before going to bed
  • eye strain
  • social skills from lack of socializing

The Positive

YES! Video games are not all bad but that’s if you don’t play too much especially as you and your brain are growing. In Medical News Today in the article “How Video Games Affect the Brain” the author, Hannah Nichols, talks about the positives of video games can have on children and even more on adults. Video games change the structure of the brain and how it performs. There is still a lot of research being done on this subject however some of the positives are:

  • pay attention to detail better
  • easier to pay close attention to certain tasks
  • easier to point out the spatial and visual relationships with objects

 Screen time for children and teenagers still needs more research but scientists do know that more screen time is changing the brain for good and bad. 

 

Kids playing outside

Remember the day when seeing kids outside in their yard was a normal thing or you were the new kid and you made friends with the neighbors because they were outside? Well, the sad truth is, nowadays that is a rare thing in most cities. It may be because of 

  • crime rates
  • more parents working
  • heat
  • electronics

 

Kids Playing Outside

Some of the effects of children playing outside are:

The Sun

 your body needs vitamin D sun exposure is one the best ways to get that crucial vitamin. 

Exercise

Children getting outside will help with the recommended one hour of exercise a day. For a child, this shouldn’t be too hard to do on most days. 

Risk-Taking

All parents want their children to be safe but not letting them take risks can do more harm than good. as they get older, they won’t know what they can and can not do. In today’s society taking thought about risk is a good skill to have. When children are outside, they will take risks like climbing a tree or picking up a bug they haven’t seen before.  Whether the child succeeds or not it will teach them to keep trying or it is ok not to be the best at everything.

Problem-solving

Kids playing outside will help them develop problem-solving skills and teach them to be more creative. For these skills to develop it needs to be unstructured and without advice, you don’t want to be the one thinking of the ideas to solve the problem or be creative.  When problem-solving it can also help with prioritizing and troubleshooting. Children will do this without even realizing it. If one thing doesn’t work then they will go with a different way that might be more creative and the child might realize they need to do something else first, prioritizing. 

Health

kids who are outside in the dirt will be exposed to more bugs, pollen, make them stronger muscle and endurance. This will not only help their strength but also their immune system. No one likes a sick child.

Make a point to take your child outside every day you can it’s great for them and for you. If you have a yard kick them out while you’re making dinner, even if they’re an only child they will be just fine. Another way is to let them eat breakfast or dinner outside, my daughter recently asked to eat outside and loves it, and that’s an easy cleanup.

 

Conclusion

There are pros and cons to everything so try and have a balance to everything. We are still trying to figure the exact effects of screen time so in the meantime get the kids outside more. There is no harm in that.