Smartphone addiction in kids can lead to neck and back problems

Smartphone addiction in kids can lead to neck and back problems

One more reason to keep your child away from smartphones.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : April 13, 2017 12:57 PM IST

We live in a world where technology rules our lives and smartphones are our lifelines. It isn't surprising to see that children these days are glued to the smartphone screens rather than books or crafts materials. Much is said about how smartphones are ruining eye health in kids and how its rays are harmful to the little one's brain. Despite these repeated warnings the addiction is just getting stronger in children. The damage incurred is much more than just ill-effects of vision and effects of electromagnetic rays. Continuous usage of smartphones can lead to neck and back problems in kids. Know if smartphones are making your kids anti-social.

Why smartphone is a threat to your kid

Recollect how does your child sit with your phone? Curved back, neck bent downwards and eyes transfixed over the screen, right? This position, when maintained for hours at the end, is definitely going to hurt the muscles of the neck and back. 'When kids keep stooping over the phone and play for a long time, it takes a toll on the neck and back muscles which could lead to repetitive strain injury. In simple words, it means the muscles of the area are injured due to over use. This could lead to complications in future, not just pain in the neck and back,' says Dr Vijaya Bhaskar, physiotherapist, Nightingales Home Health services.

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Since the muscles are in continuous use with very less time given to recover this leads to a kind of trauma. 'The muscles become spastic, tight and lead to damage at the microcellular levels. Apart from neck and back, the other parts of the body that face damage are the index and thumb finger and the shoulder muscles. The thumb and index finger is used the most while using the smartphone and because you hold the phone for too long the shoulder muscles also have to share the burden,' says Dr Bhaskar. Remember, not just aches and pains, damaging the micro-muscles in the index and thumb finger can also lessen productivity in the kids by lowering their pace while writing. Here are three other things Indian parents should not do to their kids.

How to lessen the impact of smartphones in your child's life

Here are few tips to keep in mind to help your child free from the clutches of smartphone woes

1. Work on her posture. Too much smartphone usage can lead to bad posture, which if continue till adulthood can lead to chronic back problems. So help your child to sit straight with erect back and keeping the chin parallel to the ground.

2. Limit usage of smartphones. The perils of using smartphones are many and if you cannot keep the device away from your child at least limit the usage. Ask your child to take a break every 30 minutes, take a walk, straighten the spine and correct the posture. This will help to reduce the damage to the muscles on the neck, spine and back.

3. Take enough rest. If your child complains of aches and pains due to over use of smartphones, encourage taking rest. If not chronic in nature, most aches and pains resolve on its own with rest.

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