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Toddler using gadgets. Pixabay
  • Around 30 percent of newborn children less than six years are routinely exposed to some type of screen time
  • Just 20 percent of the parents surveyed knew about expert rules with respect to screen time in kids
  • The problems seen in the gathering of pre-schoolers are language and social delays

June 30, 2017: Toddlers using gadgets might appear cool to some but little do parents realise that spending time on screen might affect the health of their child. Indeed, even before he could walk or talk, two-year-old Jack (not his genuine name) could explore touch screen gadgets. What started as 30 minutes of everyday screen time from the age of six months has now crawled up to six hours day by day until his second birthday celebration. Jack’s childhood is not the usual one. Ever since IPad appeared in 2010, it has changed the childhood play habits.

Another investigation found that around 30 percent of newborn children less than six years are routinely presented to some type of screen time, (for example, the TV, cell phone or tablet) the normal being an hour for each day, said Dr Aishworiya Ramkumar, associate consultant at National University Hospital’s (NUH) Child Development Unit. By the age of two, just about nine in 10 youngsters would have had consistent screen time. Of more noteworthy concern was poor parental mindfulness. Just 20 percent of the parents surveyed knew about expert rules with respect to screen time in kids, and 60 percent directed their youngsters’ screen-time use consistently, said Dr Aishworiya.


By the age of two, just about nine in 10 youngsters would have had consistent screen time. Of more noteworthy concern was poor parental mindfulness. Just 20 percent of the parents surveyed knew about the guidelines with respect to screen time allowed for kids, and 60 percent directed their youngsters’ screen-time use consistently, said Dr Aishworiya.

While there are no formal statistics to track the phenomenon here, specialists disclosed to TODAY they are observing the first wave of negative impacts in a few youngsters who have had excessively screen time.

The issues seen in this gathering of pre-schoolers are language and social delays. Jack was a current patient of Dr Jennifer Kiing, senior consultant at the NUH’s Child Development Unit.

“By the time I saw the child, he was getting up to six hours of screen time a day. He had no meaningful words, had poor eye contact, did not respond consistently to his name and had short attention span,” said Dr Kiing.

Chief executive officer and principal of schools of Julia Gabriel Education, Ms Fiona Walker, said today’s pre-nursery children appear less comfortable expressing themselves.

“Our teachers have informal chats with the children before they are enrolled to gauge their conversational skills. Over the last two years, we’ve found that the pre-nursery children across all centres are less chatty than those from the previous cohorts. It is likely that this generation of young children would have been regularly exposed to mobile screen time in their early years,” said Ms Walker.

ALSO READ: The Blue Light malady from tech gadgets

Screentime Guidelines:

– Babies more than year and a half should avoid use of screen time other than video calling with relatives

– Toddlers matured 18 to 24 months must choose high-quality programming. Parents should supervise their kids to make them understand what they see during screentime

– Preschoolers matured two to five years should have a limited screen use to 1 hour for each day. Parents should co-see with kids.

– Children matured six and older. Place limitations on time spent using media, the types of media and guarantee it doesn’t replace rest, physical activity and well-being.

Signs to Spot:

– has an emergency each time you take the gadget away

– searches for each chance to play or watch an electronic gadget

– argues and hopes for additional time on the gadget when advised to stop

– school review/execution break down

– turns out to be more absent-minded than usual

– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94


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Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


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On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

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