Screen time for children

  1. What is the possible impact of children spending excessive hours on screen, can you list few?

The American Association of Pediatrics identifies screen time as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. Other uses of media, such as online homework, doesn’t count as screen time. Owning a smartphone or tablet has now become a common practice even with young school going children. As much as it is a relief for children that summer vacations are just around the corner, this time could be rather worrisome for parents with them thinking of ways to keep their children engaged during the two months. Kids of every age spend hours before a TV, phone or tablet which is not always a bad thing. What decides the effect of screen time on children is the kind of program they watch and how much time they spend watching the same.

Children use electronic devices for different purposes, a few being; to play video games and computer games, texting, using social media, playing hand-held games, to watch cartoons or shows and even to complete homework.

Excessive use of electronic devices and screen time has an impact on various aspects of a child’s development, namely;

  • Disrupted sleep cycle resulting in lack of adequate sleep
  • Brain developments issues and behavioral problems
  • Obesity
  • Poor performance at school
  • Anti-social activities like crime, sex, violence etc. that are commonly depicted on TV/shows that may have a negative impact on children, particularly adolescents

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Can Exposure to Screens Lead to Speech Delay in Toddlers?

How often do you sit with your baby in front of the television or handheld devices so that you can drink that coffee in peace, get your child to eat or even get a few minutes of shut-eye?

It is a full-time job to take care of babies when they are toddlers and the amount of time spent can drive any person to crankiness.

Considering the easy accessibility of entertainment on a screen, they help a ton in keeping your child busy while you finish some other important task.

Dr. Birken’s study, which was revealed at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in 2017, suggests that children under two years can face speech delay if they spend too much time with smartphones, tablets, and other such devices. Many pediatricians in Sharjah often quote Dr. Catherine Birken and her findings. The study involved 894 children whose age fell between six months and two years. For every extra 30 minutes on a screen, as revealed in the study, the risk of expressive speech delay increased by 49%. (more…)

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Tummy Time for Babies Is a Good Practice  

Becoming a parent is a very new and different experience for a couple. Especially when you’re a first-time dad or mom, everything about the baby, from its slightly smooshed head to the fine hair on its body, can feel as exhilarating as strange.

While the baby is still settling in its new life out of the womb, as you may notice, most of their time is spent on their back. They either sleep flat on their backs in a crib, on a bed, or in your lap.

What you may not realize is that infants need to spend a few minutes on their tummy while they are awake, say several Pediatricians in Sharjah. (more…)

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Kidney Diseases In Children

There are millions of people worldwide affected by kidney problems, and children are not immune to them. In fact, the early onset of kidney diseases in children makes them more prone to growth and developmental abnormalities. Although the widespread use of ultrasound scans in pregnancy has helped in identifying structural kidney problems, facilitating early intervention is still a work in progress.

Kidney diseases affecting children are commonly due to the congenital malformations of the urinary system. This could lead to children being born with smaller than normal kidneys or abnormally shaped kidneys as well. There could also be an issue with the urinary valves which lead to the obstruction of the urine flow and permanent damage to the kidneys. These may be a reason for recurrent childhood infections which may persist despite multiple antibiotic courses.

Nephrotic syndrome: This is one of the common childhood kidney problems. Here, the child presents with swelling all over the body due to low blood proteins which have leaked through the urine. If not detected and treated on time it could lead to complications like severe infections, early hypertension, and clotting of blood vessels.

Acute kidney failure:  In this condition, there is a drop in the urine volume along with retention of toxic waste products in the blood. In children, a common cause of acute kidney failure is acute glomerulonephritis. The child may complain of discoloration of urine along with body swelling and high blood pressure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is another cause of acute kidney failure in children which can progress to dialysis.

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Your baby’s first visit to the dentist

“When should I take my baby to the dentist?” is often one of the most common questions asked by parents. Most parents are often surprised when told that it is recommended to take their child to visit a dentist by the time their first tooth appears. As parents, it is important to understand that babies can develop cavities on their tooth as early as when they develop their first tooth.

As per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first visit to the dentist should be by his/her first birthday. The first dental visit is more for the parents than the child, as parents are then made aware that good dental hygiene is not limited to prevention of cavities. It is during this visit that parents learn about various oral health practices crucial to ensure their child’s dental hygiene. Parents are made aware that;

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