Warning on children’s gadget use

PARENTS should pay more attention to how their children are using smartphones and tablet computers.

The warning comes from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB, 民建聯), which interviewed 208 primary school parents in 18 districts last month and found most do not supervise their children while they use gadgets or pay attention to their posture or lack of exercise.

Around 60 percent of parents admitted their children use smartphones or tablets for between one and eight hours a day. What is worse, 41 percent said their children did little or no body or arm exercises when playing with their phones or tablets.

DAB family affairs chairman Vincent Cheng Wing-shun (鄭泳舜) said, “Parents agree the situation is getting worse. We believe this is due to game apps becoming more attractive and addictive. Also, an increasing number of schools now provide online homework to students.”

Longer working hours mean that many parents have less time to monitor how their children are using these electronic devices, Cheng said.

Leonard Wong Loi-nang (黃賚能 ), chairman of the Hong Kong Chiropractors’ Association (香港脊醫學會) public relations committee, said that if children adopt a poor posture while using their phones and tablets, it may put unnecessary pressure on their necks, shoulders and back muscles.

(The Standard, 20 October 2014)