Check use of gadgets among young children

SINGAPORE - I found it surprising that few parents supervise their young children on the use of electronic gadgets ("Kids 'using gadgets at earlier age being exposed to risks'"; Wednesday).

Letting unsupervised pre-schoolers use these gadgets to surf the Internet and go on social networking sites is dangerous, because they are not mature enough to differentiate between the real world and the virtual world.

This permissive parenting style may lead young children to believe that they can choose to do whatever they want.

This is already reflected in the behaviour of some young people who use their mobile phones with scant regard for the people around them.

This is not a healthy sign. When people become too obsessed with using their gadgets, they lose their ability to communicate and interact with others. They can become desensitised to real life and lose touch with reality.

Studies have shown that children who play four to five hours of video games each day have little time for socialising or playing sports. Kicking the habit is difficult.

Mobile devices are useful but they need not become an obsession, especially among young children. The lack of parental guidance in how children use such devices is a matter of serious concern.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)

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