Is it good for children to play video games? Does it affect their development? How does spending hours in front of a screen killing monsters or playing Candy Crush impact your brain? Is it harmful for a child to fall asleep watching cartoons on a tablet? These are all questions we ask ourselves as parents when we see our children develop in the age of technology.
According to the writer Mario Fernando Sanchez: «Children come standard adapted for change, their brains are more plastic precisely for learning. They do not mind changing; on the contrary, they stimulate them. Adults like change less because it is not pleasant to modify our way of thinking when we have been doing it for 40 years in one way. When poetry and theater appeared, Plato criticized it in The Republic, the appearance of books in the Middle Ages was criticized, because it corrupted minds. Television «stuns» the brain and now, more of it, with computers, tablets, smartphones and game consoles. » He presents us with a reality where children are more moldable and are modified to the reality where they are born, it is true that there must be a healthy balance between technology and the reality that surrounds us and we must not allow our children to remain glued to an electronic device .
From the second year of life, children can interact with devices in basic games such as What is the lion? They are essentially passive viewers who do not interact with the device. In simple games they do not last more than five minutes because they require sustained attention and proactivity that cannot last long. They get bored not being fully aware of the goals, achievements, levels and rewards of the game, which do motivate older ages, their interest does not go beyond the colors and dolls moving.
Her relationship with electronic devices focuses on watching cartoons, game sings or some absurd videos, like a girl who opens 50 surprise eggs. From a psychological point of view, there is no difference with watching television and the proximity does not harm their eyes because if it bothers them, their eyesight gets tired or their eyes dry, they just stop looking, something that older children do not do when they play actively. .
In this regard, some research indicates that constantly focusing on close visual ranges can stress and tire the eye and eventually lead to myopia. However, research does not find a correlation between the use of these devices and myopia. The most important cause of myopia in children is simply heredity. Children with myopic parents are more likely to develop myopia.
The only precaution, which must be taken, apart from the volume, is the brightness and type of light emitted by the screen, that is, if they are seen in the evening, we must control the brightness since a high brightness and towards blue tones, the Biological segregation time of melatonin when the brain detects that there is no light and orders the pineal gland to secrete this hormone that induces neurophysiological changes for the onset of sleep. It is best to activate the blue shade option that blocks blue light or use a similar application or put a blue light filter. This advice is valid for all ages. As a general rule, exposure to bright light in the morning advances the time of night’s sleep, and in the afternoon delays it.
Finally, the homeostatic component of sleep (the time you have been awake) is too strong at this age for an electronic device to subtract hours of sleep; she will fall asleep no matter what she sees. On the contrary, a tablet with the brightness and very dimmed sound can help you fall asleep on difficult days.