Over the past decade, the number of cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the organs of vision in adolescents has decreased. But the number of deviations in mental development, speech development disorders has increased, the number of children with autism and autism spectrum disorders is growing. Experts attribute this to the Internet addiction of both kids and adults. How computers and gadgets affect the health and psyche of children, what is dangerous for parents to “hang up” on the Internet, said Margarita Devyaltovskaya, head of the laboratory for children and adolescent health problems at the cava health care center “Mother and Child”.
The brain needs to be constantly trained.
— Indicators that please us — the number of diseases of the cardiovascular system in adolescents compared to 2010 decreased by 11.9%, diseases of the eyes and sensory organs — by 51%. But at the same time, there is a change in the structure of morbidity, – the specialist cited the statistics.
She noted that today even the learning process is impossible without computers and other gadgets. But a feature of childhood is the formation of dependence on them.
– Internet addiction is a condition in which a person cannot independently control his relationship with the World Wide Web. Having received the necessary information, the child “freezes” on the Internet or while playing. People turn to us when kids have a headache, absent-mindedness, sleep disturbances, redness of the eyes.
The Internet can also influence intelligence, in particular, reduce its coefficient. Margarita Devyaltovskaya explained that the brain, like all other organs and systems, needs to be constantly trained.
The specialist also drew attention to the fact that on the Internet, teenagers usually create their own image, which is more beautiful and better than it actually is. But when you need to cope with a real task – to pass an exam, to establish relationships with peers, stress arises.
On the Internet, children get used to perceive everything from the screen – to see images and hear sounds. The rest of the senses – tactile, tactile, sensory, olfactory due to lack of demand leave. And this problem is relevant from early childhood.
In the first year of life, the voice of the mother, her touch is very important for the child. If the mother is immersed in the Internet, the baby misses her. Why are there more and more deviations in mental development? Why are there so many speech development disorders? Why is the number of children with autism and autism spectrum disorders on the rise? Internet technologies have a great influence on all this. Some brain functions do not develop enough, hence the problems in children with contact. Everything that happens to a child both in utero and in the first year is extrapolated for the rest of his life. It has been proven that children born underweight, with developmental delay, premature, in adolescence have a greater risk of developing arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, metabolic disorders, the specialist says.
How to spot computer addiction?
The first criterion that a child is in danger is the direct dependence of the teenager’s mood on whether he is on the Internet or in real life. If you need to get out of a computer or gadget, this causes great dissatisfaction. The child himself does not control his time, he does not get enough sleep, he has absent-mindedness, his eyes turn red.
– There are clear recommendations on the time the child spends on the computer. Up to ten years – only schoolwork. And up to half an hour a day with another gadget – a phone, a tablet. After 10 years, the time may increase, as the teaching load grows, says Margarita Devyaltovskaya.
It should start from the first year of life.
– In the first three years, the child sees mainly his family. And the behavior model takes from there. When parents actively communicate with each other, lead an active lifestyle, ride bicycles, and play on foot, the child models such behavior. If parents sit in the same room, each with their own gadget, and communicate in the same way, the child will copy this, the doctor draws attention.
If a child has developed an addiction, parents should devote a lot of time and effort to cope with it.
Where to go with problems?
Among the new forms of work with adolescents on the formation of motivation for a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention, the expert singled out centers that are friendly to adolescents. Today there are 55 of them in the country, which work at polyclinics in the capital, regional centers and large cities. Individual consulting is the leading direction of their activity. It is anonymous and built on trust in the teenager. In addition to a psychologist, boys and girls can get advice from a gynecologist, urologist, andrologist.
Teenagers are most interested in issues related to reproductive cava health care and psychological problems. 33.6% of adolescents received a consultation from a gynecologist, 32.9% from a psychologist. Adolescents were interested in such mental health issues as internal negative experiences (32.8%), communication difficulties in the family (24.7%), communication difficulties with peers (17.4%), and communication difficulties with adults (17%). There are also many questions on behaviors that are risky for health: primarily alcohol use (28.4%), use of nicotine products (24.9%), risky sexual behavior (17%), screen and Internet addiction (9.8%), risky eating behavior (7.7%), and drug use (3.6%).