Technology has become easily accessible and children spend more and more time playing on electronic devices, like cellphones and tablets.
According to Ray Anne Cooke, Specialist in Occupational Therapy, children participating in non-active play such as screen time, could have negative health impacts. She says children need to stay active most of the time.
A child's occupation is play. Every single skill that they need to develop in school are all developed in play.— Ray Anne Cooke, Specialist in Occupational Therapy
She says children should be given time to play physically in the park or in the yard. "The more active, physical play that a child gets the better". It helps with the development of their brains and social skills.
Cooke says that when a child spends too much time playing with electronics, the feel-good pathway of the brain gets stimulated and becomes internalised as a positive reward.
It's almost like a rush that they get, it feels amazing and the more children engage in screen time play, the more they want ... its an easy, quick way to feel good— Ray Anne Cooke, Specialist in Occupational Therapy
She recommends that children have zero screen time during the week. Parents need to be more creative in coming up with activities for their children. Ride a bike, go to the park, play board games or card games and engage your children, she says.
As an Occupational Therapist, Cooke says she is seeing an increased number of children coming to see her, with postural control difficulties, and this is caused by lack of physical activity in the body.
Listen to the full conversation below: