BUKIT LANJAN: If you love your children, heed this advice!

Hong Kong children face health risk from too much screen time, according to new research
For every extra hour spent in front of televisions and digital screens, risk of developing illness increases, researchers at the University of Hong Kong warn
PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 8:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 11:35pm
Children in Hong Kong are spending more time in front of screens than their peers in mainland China and the US, exposing them further to the risk of mental and physical health problems as they get older, according to comprehensive new research. A four-year study by the University of Hong Kong found that the more time children spent watching television and playing games on digital devices, the more likely they were to be overweight and develop behavioural problems when they grew older … For more, go to http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2114304/hong-kong-children-face-health-risk-too-much-screen-time

BUKIT LANJAN: If you love your children, heed this advice!

In today’s 21st Century Digital World, children are no more attracted to playing traditional games like marbles, tops etc.

As young as a year old, they start grabbing handphones and other electronic digital gadgets to explore.

“Allowing children to play with such gadgets is not loving them. It may bring harm to their health and growth,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said parents today tend to ignore the relentless warnings and dangers that electronic gadgets posed to children and also adults.

“Do they really love their children? Or are they just plain ignorant or couldn’t care a less?”

He said sound and quality sleep was the most important factor in the growth of not only children but also teenagers and adults.

“The lack of quality sleep will most certainly affect one’s health,” he added.

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Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), suggested that the Health Ministry do something about raising the health awareness of Malaysians with regard to the use of electronic gadgets.

“Campaigns, community and public forums will help change the mindset of the rakyat and to be wiser users of electronic gadgets,” he added.

Here’s what The Star Online posted on the effects of electronic gadgets like handphones on children:

"Less sleep and higher BMIs more likely in kids who use screens before bedtime

Tuesday, 12 Dec 2017
10:30 AM MYT

Children who use electronic devices before bed are more likely to sleep less and have a higher BMI, according to new research. — AFP Relaxnews

New US research suggests that the trend for using smartphones and tablets before bedtime could be negatively affecting children's health, finding that screen time at night is linked to less sleep, poorer sleep, and a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).

Carried out by researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, the study asked the parents of 234 children between the ages of eight and 17 years about their children's technology habits, sleep patterns, nutrition and activity.

Parents were also asked to specify which electronic devices and screens their children used, with the team focusing on cell phones, computers, videogames and television.

The team found that using technology before bed was associated with less sleep, poorer sleep quality, and more fatigue in the morning.

When analysing the results further the team also found that children who watched TV or played video games before bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep than those who did not, while those who used their phone or a computer before bed got an hour less of sleep.

Children who watched TV or used cellphones before bed were also more likely to have a higher body mass indexes (BMI).

Although research shows that 40% of children have cellphones by fifth grade, when children are 10-11 years old, the researchers point out that little is known about the effects of technology on younger children.

Study co-author Caitlyn Fuller commented that the findings now suggest a vicious cycle of technology use, poor sleep and increasing BMIs.

The results also add to a growing body of research which suggests too much technology time is having a negative impact on health, with previous studies finding that the more time teens spend using technology, the more likely they are to suffer from a lack of sleep, attention problems, and higher BMIs.

Fuller added that sleep is critical to a child's development and says the results support new recommendations from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) about screen time for children, with the AAP advising parents to create boundaries around technology use, such as requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

Co-author Dr Marsha Novick, also added that, "Although there are many benefits to using technology, paediatricians may want to counsel parents about limiting technology for their kids, particularly at bedtime, to promote healthy childhood development and mental health."

The findings can be found published online in the journal Global Pediatric Health. — AFP Relaxnews"



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