#NoMobileKnowFamily: Beware, 2-year olds can also suffer from mobile addiction

A lot of parents pat their backs when they talk to each other about how smart their kids are, as they can access YouTube or use the Internet. However, in a surprising case, a two-year-old kid from Mumbai has an addiction to gadgets, so much so that ‘no gadget’ time is his only therapy at the moment. My Medical Mantra takes a look how mobile addiction is increasingly affecting children these days

#NoMobileKNowFamily: Beware, 2-year olds can also suffer from mobile addiction

‘Gadget-free hours’ are the need of the hour. With most parents showcasing their children’s talent of using gadgets efficiently, it seems to be like a qualification of intellectuality. However, psychiatrists say that the ‘gadget nanny’ for kids and newborns is more than just harmful.

“A 2-year-old boy had come to me with his elder brother and parents. The family approached me to treat the elder brother due to his academic negligence. But what I noticed during all our sessions was that this 2-year-old was always using his mother’s phone. It was then that I had to tell the family that this young kid needed treatment urgently,” said Dr Sagar Karia, psychiatrist at Sion Hospital and LTMG College and secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Society.

“The real trouble is that we do not realise the amount of time we waste, as we sit on our devices. Moreover, the lights emitted from mobile phones have an adverse effect on our eyes. A lot of people will even experience trouble getting sleep after using phones. And that is why, when we treat such patients, we ask them to have a ‘gadget-free’ family time,” said Dr Avinash DeSousa, president of DeSousa Foundation.

Unfortunately, a number of studies have proven that using LCD screens close to your face just before going sleep will cause you to stay awake for a longer time. The blue light that they give off has been theorised to inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.

“I get at least two such patients in a week, who come complaint that they have a lack of sleep. The bright light of the phone reduces the capacity of melatonin production which is a major contributor. Moreover, using computer or phone all night long doesn’t give any rest to the brain which could cause severe sleeplessness,” added Dr Karia.