Sample Essay on Children’s Age and Video Games

Various pediatric institutions specifically the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics have advised the variation of time length to exposure of children to technology (Roeser, 2010). For instance, these institutions have argued that infants aged between 0 and 2 years should never be granted any technological experience (Levesque, 2012). Children aged between three and 5 years should experience an exposure of utmost one hour daily, and those aged between 6-18 years of age ought to have a two-hour’s daily contact. However, children and youths often exceed the recommended duration of interacting with technology by about three to four times, and all these acts have serious life frightening magnitudes (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). Moreover, the availability of handheld electronic devices especially electronic games and multi-feature cell phones has dramatically escalated access video games by children who are under 12 years of age.

In addition, various studies and researches have insinuated detrimental effects of technology on the health of teens because these groups of consumers of video games often exceed the recommended watching or rather video gaming durations (Levesque, 2012). The bigger challenge is that parents lack the adequate and effective means of monitoring and controlling the amount of time that teens consume in video gaming. The big question that remains unanswered is; do children have to be banned from video games until they reach 12 years old? Yes, video games among children of less than 12 years of age should be banned because there is no assurance that their parents will control the recommended timing aspect (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). The teens often form a very crucial part of the future economic growth and the emphasis of creation of a healthy nation should never be compromised. The following are among the reasons behind this hard stance of the debate:

An infant’s brain triple in size between the ages of 0 and 2 years and it continues to undergo the state of rapid development until the child attains the age of 21 years. Availability of an environmental stimuli or lacks of it are the determinants of early development of the human brain (Levesque, 2012). However, since the age bracket under discussion forms a significant portion of the range, rapid brain development with the stimulation of excessive exposure to technologies such as video games has been indicated to be having negative impacts on children. This exposure affects include, attention insufficiency, delays cognitive traits, impairs learning ability, increases impulsivity and decreases ability to regulation of oneself (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). The world economies depend on a healthy population due to considerably high productivity levels inherent in any healthy population. Additionally, a healthy population requires knowledge, skills, and expertise that put learning as a prerequisite (Roeser, 2010). Therefore, any avoidable practice that infringes on the precious opportunity of a country to achieving economic development goals is unacceptable.

Technology usage by children below 12 years causes delay in development. Technology tends to restricts movement of children as they will spend more time indoors (Roeser, 2010). Academic researchers have indicated that movements do enhance attention to class work and the ability of a child to learn (Levesque, 2012). Research shows that one in every three children who join schools has poor literacy and unsatisfactory academic achievements due to delays in developments. It is therefore important to note that the use of technology by children under the age of 12 years is unfavorable to the learning abilities and development of a child. In the American society, a significant percentage of the children population suffer from obesity or overweight. Surveys have revealed that there is a correlation between video gaming among children and epidemic obesity (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). If at all, obesity is a serious challenge to the children population, then why continue and tolerate such a practice among our children? Research has pointed out that children who are allowed to play video games in their bedrooms have shown an increment is obesity cases by about 30% (Roeser, 2010). Statistic rarely lie and this trend is anything to go by, then the practice poses a great danger of fuelling obesity cases in the future, a projection that is intolerable and that should be subject to total eradication given possibilities. Obese children often develop diabetes at some point in their lives, and thus, are likely to go through early heart attacks and strokes that gravely shorten their life expectancy (Levesque, 2012). Research indicates that obesity may make the age band of 21st century as the first group many of whom will perish before their parents. The wish of all parents is that life expectancy of their children is longer and that every generation should outlive the parent generation and thus the aspect of obesity is a logical and precise rationale towards advocating for banning of video games for children under the age of 12 years of age (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). Obesity issue is controllable and it will be negligent on the parent’s part to compromise this high calling following the impracticability of controlling the durations recommended for video gaming among this age bracket.

A research conducted by Kaiser foundation in 2010 revealed that 60% of parents do not administer  the extent to which their children use technology, and that 75% of children are allowed by their parents to use technology in their bedrooms (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). This tendency has disrupted the sleeping patterns of children hence the study viewed technology as a depriver of sleep, enough sleep for that matter (Levesque, 2012). Concentration in class work requires an awake and not a sleepy mind. Deprivation of sleep by technological applications denies our children an opportunity to achieve best from the learning activities. As a result, those children that have not been able to have adequate sleeping duration are experiencing poor academic performances (Roeser, 2010). The research has indicated that 75% of children between 9 and 10 years cannot have enough sleep and this has adversely impacted on their grades.

Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are associated with overusing technology especially by means of video gaming in children (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). For instance, one out of six Canadian children among those who have excessive exposure to technology has recorded cases of mental illnesses and many of them are on dangerous psychotropic treatment.

Certain video games contain features that cause child aggression (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). Technological exposure has increasingly subjected children to incidences of physical and sexual violence. Some research showed that children who engaged in video games that recognize risk taking are more likely to accept high risky undertakings in their future live. The confusion is that some of these risk incidences could as well lead to bad future engagements (Levesque, 2012). Violent video games may go beyond aggression, since through violent video games; children may embark on risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol and drug trafficking, risky driving and unsafe sexual behavior. Children tend to imitate a lot from their life experiences including contents of the video games they play. For example, Grand Theft Auto V depicts overt sex, murder, rape, torture, and mutilation, just as many movies and television shows (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). Therefore, the U.S. government has made great steps ahead by categorizing media violence as a Public Health Risk because of the causal influence it has on child aggression (Roeser, 2010). Due to the brain trimming, high-speed video games content disrupts kid’s attention, and reduces their focus and recollection. It is evident that a child that lacks memory and concentration cannot learn. As we all know, excellence in academic performance majorly depends on the ability of a child to memorize concepts with concentration in class as a precedence. This occurrence is the digital dementia (Levesque, 2012). Another concern of technological exposure to children, especially through video gaming is addiction. This is because with technological advancements, parents have been developing the tendency of detaching themselves from their children giving technology a leeway to developing a special relationship with the children. What normally follows is that detached children tend to focus on technology leaving this sect vulnerable to technological addiction will all inherent negative impacts. Child addiction has never existed in the history of humankind making the facet of technological advancements a unique occurrence (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). World Health Organization categorized cell phones and other wireless devices to belong to the 2B risk class because of the radiations they emit. Children are more sensitive to radiations than adults because their brains and immune systems are still in the stage of development. Currently, children play video games on various platforms including cell phones hence they are more exposed to the dangerous emissions (Levesque, 2012). The raising and education of children with technological orientations are no longer sustainable. It is agreeable that children are our future, but at the same time, we ought to accept that there is no future for kids who overuse technology.

In conclusion, technology is only good for children if there is proper and effective management of the manner in which they use it (Hargrave & Livingstone, 2009). The stand of this argument is that video games for children should be banned, if not, it is the society that will suffer the negative consequences of unbalanced technological management (Roeser, 2010). In essence, balanced technological management is the right solution but a significant proportion of parents find it challenging to monitor and control technological consumption rate of their children below the age of 12 years. In addition, with great wisdom to do so because children suffer most the negative consequences of overconsumption of technology (Levesque, 2012). The decision to ban all video games among children below the age of 12 years act as a standard measure for all parents. It will also help redress the loopholes that currently exist in the modern trends. There are so many ways of engaging children and therefore, video gaming whose overuse of technology is prominent is never the only way (Roeser, 2010). It is true that children who are playing video games are happier than those who do not; similarly, it is true that happiness in children is all about video gaming.

References

Levesque, R. J. R. (2012). Encyclopedia of adolescence: Vol. 1. New York: Springer.

Hargrave, A. M., & Livingstone, S. (2009). Harm and offence in media content: A review of the evidence. Bristol, UK: Intellect.

Roeser, S. (2010). Emotions and risky technologies. Dordrecht: Springer.