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Saturday, February 1, 2020

babies ~ intelligence ~ generation improvement - smart babies !!

The debate could be endless ~are present generation smarter than the earlier one ? – for every parent, their child is so fast in learning [till they get to school whence mothers start complaining that they are not good in studies – right from Nursery level telling rhymes !!] ... children of famous parents are praised no ends – every single act of theirs would earn appreciation from outsiders who in over-eager zeal to earn brownie point with the parent would acclaim that the kid is a child-prodigy !   Many children of around 6 months could hear the sound and would get attracted to the music – say, title music of a TV Serial, making the proud mother acclaim that their son / daughter recognises the Serial at such tender age !!

A generation or more ago,  kids generally lacked opportunities – had little of toys – most of which would remain out of their reach – only to be exhibited and kept away ! – kids could ill-afford to break or throw things away.  Television itself was a luxury and the most luxurious had access to computer games !! – not any longer !!!

Babies as young as 6 MONTHS are using smartphones and tablets before they learn to walk or talk;  by the age of One, some infants are using devices for at least an hour a day; and by 2 – some children have mobile device of their own !!

In an interesting article in MailOnline -  more than a third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they're walking or talking, research has revealed.  Time spent on devices increased with age, with 26 per cent of two-year-olds and 38 per cent of four-year-olds using devices for at least an hour a day.  The findings came from a survey designed to find out when youngsters are first exposed to mobile media and how they use devices.

Parents of children aged six months to four-years-old who were at a US hospital-based paediatric clinic that serves a low-income, minority community were recruited to fill out the survey. It was completed by 370 parents, with 97 per cent of them having TVs, 83 per cent tablets, 77 per cent smartphones and 59 per cent internet access. Parents were asked about what types of media devices they have in their household, the children’s age at initial exposure to mobile media, frequency of use, types of activities and if their paediatrician had discussed media use with them.

Lead author Hilda Kabali, of the Einstein Healthcare Network, in Philadelphia, said children younger than a year were exposed to the devices in 'surprisingly large numbers'.  More than half (52 per cent) had watched TV shows, more than a third (36 per cent) had touched or scrolled a screen. A quarter had called someone, 15 per cent had used apps and one in eight (12 per cent) played video games. And by two years of age, most children were using mobile devices.  

Most children were using mobile devices by the age of two, say the researchers, from Philadelphia. 'We didn't expect children were using the devices from the age of six months,' Dr Kabali said. 'Some children were on the screen for as long as 30 minutes.' The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of devices such as TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets by children under two-years-old.  The study also found that 75 per cent of parents let their children play with mobile devices while doing household chores. And 65 per cent admitted they used them to calm a child, while 29 per cent said they helped put a child to sleep. However, less than third of parents (30 per cent) said their child’s paediatrician had discussed media use with them. The findings were presented at the Paediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego.

Just an HOUR of TV means children are more likely to be overweight or obese; Just an hour of TV a day can turn five-year-olds into couch potatoes, another study has warned.  Previous research has shown that children who watch a lot of TV are at risk of being overweight.  But this is the first to look specifically at the link between TV watching and obesity among five-year-olds, the authors claim. 

They are now calling for more stringent recommendations on how much television children should watch.  For the study, researchers analysed figures from 11,000 children who were in kindergarten during the 2011-2012 school year. As part of the study, lifestyle factors that could affect a child's educational performance were collected from parents, including the number of hours of TV children watched on weekdays and at weekends, and how often they used computers.  The children's weight and height were also measured. A year later, 10,853 of the children's height and weight were measured, and parents again were asked about their child's TV habits. The results showed that US kindergartners watched an average of 3.3 hours of TV a day.

Health experts currently recommend limiting children and teenagers to less than two hours of screen time each day to prevent obesity.  However, computer use was not associated with higher weight.  Study author Dr Mark DeBoer, associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Virginia, said: 'Given overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight, paediatricians and parents should attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing."

What is given above is the research findings in US – do you think that the situation is any different in India ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th Apr 2015.

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