Hi-tech fears for young students
LINDA SMITH, The Mercury, August 09, 2014 12:00AM
TASMANIAN children are spending so much time playing with smartphones and tablet computers that they are turning up to school with serious eye problems, an early childhood educator says.
Kindergarten teacher Judi Rhodes has worked in Tasmanian schools for more than 30 years and said an increasing number of school-aged children were showing up to class without basic life skills and with health problems related to technology overuse.
Studies have shown that too much screen time is detrimental to the mental and physical wellbeing of young children and Mrs Rhodes said this was obvious in classrooms.
She said some Tasmanian students had serious eye problems because they spent too much time playing on smartphones, tablets or sitting in front of the TV, which their time-poor parents often used as babysitting devices to keep children occupied.
As a result many children have poor speech and short attention spans and find it difficult to focus on tasks for more than a few minutes at a time.
Some struggle to string a complete sentence together because parents are not talking to them enough.
Mrs Rhodes, who works at Cygnet Primary School, said it was also common for kids to show up to kindy who were not toilet trained. Some had never been taught to brush their teeth.
She has written a book called How to Train Your Child in 5 Easy Steps, offering advice for parents of 3-4 year olds.
Read more about Judi Rhodes in the Saturday Magazine in today”™s Mercury.
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