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‘Digital drug’ exposes health risk to children

By BSS, Dhaka
20th-Apr-2017       
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The phenomenon that witnesses children to be glued to digital devices appeared to have emerged as a severe health threat with experts of late preferring to call it "digital drug".
Four-year-old Raisul and six-year-old Rahiqul are siblings having a sister of 2 years age - the three minor children often make their mother Saima Akhtar's life miserable. If one wants to eat then another wants to go to toilet. By this time another child breaks something.
In her effort to give Aktar some relief, her Australia living sister in law brought two tabs for the two brothers expecting the devices to occupy their attention for some time.
The result was over productive as the tabs engaged the two brothers throughout the day. The engrossment in video games affects their dietary routine, sleeps and regular studies, exposing their parents and grandparents to a new type of tension.
Mother of a 10-year-old girl Shamsun Nahar works in a private organization while her only daughter Nusmela studies in standard five in an English medium school. Being the daughter of working parents Nusmela needs to stay home alone after school hours for a long period when the video games in mobile phone appear as her only companion.
But these virtual games gradually became her all time companion as they engross her even when her parents are with her at home.
"There are no options. Every day, we cannot give her enough time . . . there is no open field nearby where she can play and at the moment we cannot make her enrolled in any cultural group either for her mental health or flourish her latent talent," Nahar said.
The anxious mother fears the virtual games largely stole her daughter's emotion. "She is not led by emotion they way we were used to during her age," Nahar said.
The issue appeared more complicated as Nahar herself largely became addicted to games in her smart phone when she stays at home alone after office hour which morally debars her to discipline the minor girl.
Experts said the children of most of the working parents found video games in tabs or smart phones as only means of their entertainment and most cases the devices fully occupy them for four to five hours a day.
American clinical psychologist Dr. Nicholas Kardaras termed this type of addiction as 'digital drugs'.
Digital device's harmfulness has been proved scientifically worldwide wwith researches suggesting them to cause both physically and psychological harms including headache and eyesight problems.
Many parents spend time unconsciously on the Facebook sitting at home and the children plays games or are being addicted in pornography. By doing so, they unknowingly waste time. Many go to bed late night after using these devices.
Several medical expert suggest such addiction increases children's attraction towards violence.
A survey of 'Work For Better Bangladesh Trust' revealed that most of the schools in the capital do not have any playing field and 67 percent find no playground at school or home, exposing them to be engrossed in TV or video games for hours.
According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Information in 2013, 83 percent child living Dhaka are eager to play in playgrounds in their neighbourhod, 73 percent want a cultural organization in their society, 76 percent seek amusement parks in their area.
Sixty seven percent children said there should be a physical organization or a gym.
Another survey conducted by 'Foundation for Human', a NGO, revealed that 77 percent of school going students watch pornography. The study was conducted among the students from class-8 to 12.
Talking to this correspondent, eminent artist Mostofa Monwar attached importance on increasing imagination power and thinking capabilities of children in which mothers can play a crucial role.
"The mother needs to tell stories to their children and encourage them in drawing, dancing and music to divert their attention from mobile phones and other electronic devices," he said.
In this total process, Mostafa Monwar said the parents have to give enough time to their children.
"If, parents can do so, 'Digital Addiction' of their children would be reduced . . . help children grow up with a healthy mind and body," he said.
 

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