Dr. Avnish Jolly:Since computers were first introduced to young children three decades ago, there has been a certain amount of fear and controversy voiced over technology’s “harm” to this young population. In the 1980’s many critics thought computers would isolate children and affect their social skills in negative ways. Today the criticism is even more profound and, through the Internet, publications about computer use are reaching a wide audience.
Most of Children now spend one to three hours per day on the computer doing homework, talking online with friends, and playing games. Parents encourage children as young as two or three years old to use the computer Children learning to use computers are being put at risk of permanent injury, some health experts are warning. They say thousands of children have already been damaged by medical problems associated with the operation of computers. These problems – neck, back, repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and eyes – have long been recognised as being linked to prolonged computer use and incorrect posture in adults.
As yet, no significant research into the risks of RSI among children, who spend hours on computers doing homework or playing games, has been carried out in the India. But doctors are reporting an increasing number of children complaining of computer-related injuries. Concerning physical injuries by children related to computer use, especially repetitive stress injury, there is very little research in this area. Evidence of physical risks is inferred from studies on adult use of computers. Both publications do agree that more research is needed on children’s use of computers at school and home and that more teacher training on appropriate technology use is needed. Current research provides us with few clear answers to questions on technology. The value of creativity, imagination and critical thinking over "information" access is self-evident, you’d think. But an alliance of convenience between technology vendors, who want to stuff more unwanted computers into classrooms, lazy governments, for whom IT is a way of appearing "modern" while cutting education budgets, ensures the issue doesn’t stay in the headlines for very long.
Muscles and bones, Nuisance pain and Adjustable furniture
"This is the first generation of children who have used computers from early childhood while their muscles and bones are developing. If we don’t get knowledge quickly about how to use computers safely, then I think we will see a lot of children disabled from using computers.
Hunar, 14, who has been receiving intensive treatment from a yoga expert for four years. She suffers severe pain in her neck and back, which is always worse after prolonged periods on a computer. "It’s like a muscular pain and a nuisance pain," she said
“We need to be setting healthy habits for children in school” Ms. S Choudhary, Principal, St. Solider International Public School, Chandogarh.
It just won’t go away and it doesn’t matter how you try to sit or lie you just can’t get comfortable. Being a doctor, I believe that there is going to be an increase in cases of RSI and posture problems among children and parents must understand the issues about RSI.
We need to be setting healthy habits for children in school because they’re not going to get RSI in the 45 minutes that they use computers in school – it’s when they’re at home doing school work or playing games that they could develop it. Part of the problem in schools is that each class uses the same computer room, with chairs and desks which may not be adjustable for individual children.
There is usually only one size of mouse, which may not be appropriate for different hands. We agree, computer is doing wonders in today’s scenario, not to say in advanced studies but at the lowest level also. Kids are being given computers; rather, they are given the provision to avoid tension. We provide them with CDs, DVDs etc; which to us seems an easy and sure shot way to make the kids learn. No doubt the kid grasps easily with the help of actions, sounds, etc but the gadgets can no way take the place of human being, What a parent or guide can teach with emotions and a personal touch is irreplaceable, And not to speak about the after effect of such practice. The effect of computer screen on soft eyes is mostly talked about, but my point is the dependence of the child on computer increases where as he may not be interested in ones parent. Child is getting the help and support technically from the computer instead of emotionally (from the parents). This may lead to, or should say it indeed leads to distraction from the parents.