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Technology is destroying our children

The Vancouver Sun

Letter
Published: Monday, March 03, 2008
Re: What’s best for baby?, Feb. 23

I found it interesting that, while Chad Skelton wrote about birth procedures, spanking and daycare, he failed to address the most critical factor affecting normal child development: TV and video game addictions.

Numerous studies now show causal links between use of media technology and significant mental and physical impairments in infants, toddlers, children and adults, yet I rarely see this information reported by the media.

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve seen an alarming increase in child developmental and attachment disorders over the past decade. One only has to look at our culture’s explosion of technology to understand the immense impact on the developing child’s neurological system, and subsequent detachment from human connections. Children from infancy to two years of age watch an average 2.2 hours per day of TV and video games; elementary school children a whopping 6.5 hours.

What these children are not doing is moving, touching and connecting — all critical elements for normal neurological development. Health and education systems are only beginning to detect the extensive damage of TV and video game addictions, much less understand what to do about it.

Fifteen per cent of elementary school children are now on psychotrophic medication (Ritalin, anti-depressants, drugs for anxiety and bipolar disorder). Society is unknowingly riding the crest of a wave that will destroy our children.

I strongly encourage Sun reporters to investigate and report these facts to parents, teachers, and health and education authorities in order to plan for the sustainability of our most precious resource — our children.