Apple Urged To Help Curb Smartphone Addiction In Children

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Image 1 of 11 Brothers Adan, 6, and Joaquin, 4, play with an HISD supplied language app that allows them to practice Arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys' parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Brothers Adan, 6, and Joaquin, 4, play with an HISD supplied language app that allows them to practice Arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys' parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 2 of 11 Omar Abou-Sayed sits with his son, Joaquin, 4, while he practices his letters with a language app, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Omar Abou-Sayed sits with his son, Joaquin, 4, while he practices his letters with a language app, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 3 of 11 Brothers Joaquin, 4, and Adan, 6, play chess on the floor of their playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys learned to play the game during a chess camp. Their parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Brothers Joaquin, 4, and Adan, 6, play chess on the floor of their playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys learned to play the game during a chess camp. Their parents, Omar and Mikhal ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 4 of 11 Alina Abou-Sayed, 2, makes shapes with an Osmo, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Alina's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Alina Abou-Sayed, 2, makes shapes with an Osmo, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Alina's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 5 of 11 Joaquin Abou-Sayed, 4, practices his letters with a language app, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Joaquin Abou-Sayed, 4, practices his letters with a language app, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 6 of 11 Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays with an HISD supplied language app that allows him to practice arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays with an HISD supplied language app that allows him to practice arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 7 of 11 Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays with an HISD supplied language app that allows him to practice Arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays with an HISD supplied language app that allows him to practice Arabic, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 8 of 11 Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, limiting the exposure to educational games, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. less Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, limiting the exposure to educational games, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 9 of 11 Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays around with a trumpet in the family playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays around with a trumpet in the family playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 10 of 11 Brothers Joaquin, 4, and Adan, 6, play chess on the floor of their playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys learned to play the game during a chess camp. Their parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Brothers Joaquin, 4, and Adan, 6, play chess on the floor of their playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. The boys learned to play the game during a chess camp. Their parents, Omar and Mikhal ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Image 11 of 11 Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays around with a trumpet in the family playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their three children, Adan, 6, Joaquin, 4, and Alina, 2, receive, providing numerous other options around the house. less Adan Abou-Sayed, 6, plays around with a trumpet in the family playroom, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Houston. Adan's parents, Omar and Mikhal Abou-Sayed, are careful to limit the amount of screen time their ... more Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle Apple urged to help curb smartphone addiction in children 1 / 11 Back to Gallery

Anyone who doubts the power that smartphones and tablets have over young minds should have a chat with Omar Abou-Sayed, who let his oldest child start playing with a tablet at age 3.

"When the time came for a bath and it was time to take away the tablet, the almost physical trauma our child went through was so dramatic that we thought this had to be a manifestation of something unhealthy," Abou-Sayed said.

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The reaction by the boy, who is now 6, made the CEO of Houston-based Advantek Waste Management Services rethink access to technology among the family's three children.

"It is vexing," he said.

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Exposing young children to technology early was considered an important part of raising them in the 21st century, but a growing body of research – coupled with the real-world experiences of parents – is challenging that thinking. The compelling nature of the technology appears to impact development at a critical time in children's lives. Research shows that particularly young children benefit from as much face time - rather than FaceTime - with both adults and other children as communication skills develop.

Thrill is gone: 2017 was the year we fell out of love with the smartphone

When kids who have unfettered access to smartphones or tablets should be bonding with family and friends, they're often head-down in screens, sending texts, playing games, posting photos or - occasionally - actually talking on the phone.

As a result, two institutional investors in tech giant Apple Inc. - the maker of the iPhone and iPad - last week urged the company to do more to keep youngsters from becoming addicted to the devices.

For parents who want to moderate and monitor their children's usage, the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets is a constant challenge. Smartphones are now woven into the fabric of American culture, an ever-present part of work, commerce, education and entertainment.

 A Pew Research Center survey found 77 percent of U.S. adults had a smartphone in 2017, a remarkable adoption rate for a piece of technology that's only been around for about a decade.

The age for adopting this technology keeps dropping. The market research firm Influence Central in 2016 said the average age that a child gets a phone is 10.3 years old. And Pew found in 2015 that 73 percent of teens have a smartphone.

And that smartphone usage is dramatic for all ages. A survey by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on children, media and technology, found that 50 percent of teens said they feel addicted to their devices (and 28 percent said their parents were).

The evolution of technology adoption and usage>

Source : http://www.houstonchronicle.com/techburger/article/Apple-urged-to-improve-its-parental-controls-12484776.php

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