Children struggle to hold pencil due to technology

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 01, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Doctors have warned that children are not able to hold a pencil properly
  • This could be due to the excessive use of technology like phones, ipads, etc.
  • Using gadgets could stop finger muscles from developing in the right way

 

A new study has found that kids today are increasingly finding it challenging to hold a pencil due to the increasing use of technology.

According to the Guardian, paediatricians have warned that children are starting school with not enough strength to hold a pencil.

An excessive use of technology rather than holding a crayon or pencil in hand is slowing the process of the children’s finger development.

Read:  Three Hours of TV a Day can Harm a Child's Development

“Children are not coming to school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago,” said Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust.

“Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills,” she said. “To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers, Children need lots of opportunities to develop those skills.”

In 2016, a study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy found that young women and men have a weaker grip than the men and women of 1985.

Investigators recruited 237 male and female volunteers aged 20-34. For the study, these volunteers had to squeeze a hand dynamometer and the strength was then measured in pounds.

The study found that the men aged 20-24 had an average grip of 105 pounds on the left hand and 121 pounds on the right, in 1985. In 2016, men of the same age only had grip strengths of 101 and 99 pounds.

Another study of 2012 published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy concluded that “Pencil grasp patterns did not influence handwriting speed or legibility in the sample of typically developing children.”

There are multiple other concerns when it comes to kids and technology, but we can start from this. A few suggestions to limit the use of technology to help your child's development:

  • For kids aged 2-5, only an hour each day should be granted to them to use any gadgets
  • Give your kid toys that will help him/her to develop hand muscles—blocks to build towers etc, safety scissors to cut shapes, pencils and colours to draw and other such tools
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under the age of 18 months must be kept away from technology unless its video chatting
  • To avoid your kid from developing a sedentary unhealthy lifestyle, make sure your kid does an hour of some physical activity per day

Read more Health News.

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