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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Toddlers Receiving Therapy for Addiction to Tablets

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM
Jes
  • 28 Replies
Toddlers who are allowed access to tablet devices for extended periods of time everyday are in danger of suffering from long-term effects, experts have observed.

In the UK, a four-year-old girl became increasingly “distressed and inconsolable” whenever her parents took her iPad away from her. The child, the youngest known to ever require treatment for this particular condition, has since then been receiving compulsive behavior therapy, according to The Telegraph.

The parents told the doctors that, in the span of a year, the amount of time their daughter spent on the iPad had escalated to up to four hours daily.

“The child's mother called me and described her symptoms,” said Dr. Richard Graham, who three years ago established the first technology addiction program in the UK. “She told me she had developed an obsession with the device and would ask for it constantly. She was using it three to four hours every day and showed increased agitation if it was removed.”

He believes there are many other children who have become addicted to iPads and mobile phones. When these devices are taken away from the young technology addicts, they experience the same withdrawal symptoms as drug addicts and alcoholics.

Dr. Graham warns parents that this condition could seriously interfere with a child’s ability to form normal social relationships, so that something as natural as human interaction could become exhausting for him or her.

“Children have access to the internet almost from birth now,” he said. “They see their parents playing on their mobile devices and they want to play too. It's difficult, because having a device can also be very useful in terms of having a reward, having a pacifier. But if you don't get the balance right it can be very dangerous.

“They can't cope and become addicted, reacting with tantrums and uncontrollable behavior when they are taken away. Then as they grow older, the problem only gets worse. Even the most shy kids, when they hit their teens, suddenly want to become sociable and popular.”

London’s Capio Nightingale clinic is the site of the 28-day treatment program, called “digital detox”. Designed by Dr Graham to specifically treat children suffering from addiction to technology, it can cost up to £16,000 —or over P1 million.

Over the past three years, the number of people who have become dependent on this type of technology has risen by 30 per cent, according to psychiatrists.

A recent UK survey revealed a disturbing statistic: over half of parents allow their very young children to play with digital gadgets.

“Given that babies between 3-12 months are awake for only around 10 hours per day this is a huge proportion of their waking day,” said the managing director of the website, James Macfarlane. “Although 81 per cent of our users felt that children today spend too much time on smart devices, it hasn’t put most of them off using them to entertain their baby.” — TJD, GMA news
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by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM
Babies.co.uk questioned more than 1,000 parents about their babies’ use of these devices. One in seven of them confessed that they allowed their babies to use tablets and smartphones for up to four hours a day, or more.
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM
Link to full article:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/305186/scitech/science/ipad-addicted-toddlers-found-to-suffer-withdrawal-require-therapy
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krysstizzle
by DeepThought on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Good grief. 

-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Apr. 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Geez.. I see the cases of ADD going up even more so. I refuse to let my kids have any technological device, except a flip phone with no bells and whistles, for emergencies only. They still have to read a book and use pencil and paper.

Radarma
by "OneDar" on Apr. 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

 Bump...moms takes notice.

Good post, thanks.

AlekD
by Gold Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM
1 mom liked this

My 16 month old loves my kindle fire.

Loves to pick it up and throw it, that is.

That glazed over look that kids (and adults!) get when watching TV or playing on the computer gives me the creeps. Very sad.

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Apr. 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM
2 moms liked this
I will say my kids use tablets.

My son more than my daughters because he's Autistic and it helps him communicate. :-)

We also use "Kindle Time" as a reward... They get 30 minutes to play on the Kindle as a reward...
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prommy
by Silver Member on Apr. 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

 

 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Babies.co.uk questioned more than 1,000 parents about their babies’ use of these devices. One in seven of them confessed that they allowed their babies to use tablets and smartphones for up to four hours a day, or more.

 

 Yup! If junior is busy playing with his IPAD mommy and daddy don't have to pay so much attention. Great built in babysitter for lazy parents.  Let me edit... I'm talking about parents who allow the kids to use the IPAD excessively..not one who actually use it as a learning tool or in the case of your son as a way to engage him! I didn't meant to be insensitive!

TimetoMomUp
by Runt on Apr. 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM
1 mom liked this

Funny you should post this article.  At my daughters soccer pictures last weekend the team was sitting on the bench waiting for our turn in the gym and every single kid on the team had a tablet or smart phone to play with except my daughter.  The ironic part is that I am a web designer and my husband is one of the top rated Android developers in the country yet I carry a 2G flip phone (my husband carried some insanely expensive phone for work).  My daughter was the only child without a device to play with and she was a little embarrassed.  I told her she did not need one and just to try chit-chatting.  One of the other parents was telling me that the devices were good for the kids because it was the future and I should get my daughter on board with technology.  I found it humorous and did not tell her what we do for a living but let her talk.  I was watching my daughter and noticed the other kids were so engrossed that they could not look up for conversation.  It struck me that this IS the future.  No face-to-face social skills and interaction.  My daughter is tech-savvy and she gets time to use the computer each day, supervised.  I have learning websites (like starfall) that she is allowed to use and I am teaching her basic applications like Word.  I have to admit though, I am fearful for the kids who are on these devices during all of their free time.  To add to it, our school system is going to be implementing one tablet per child next school year. I fear that devices will take over their lives. 

TimetoMomUp
by Runt on Apr. 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM


I think limited time and reward is a great use instead of just sitting on it all day. 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I will say my kids use tablets.

My son more than my daughters because he's Autistic and it helps him communicate. :-)

We also use "Kindle Time" as a reward... They get 30 minutes to play on the Kindle as a reward...



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