Elementary School and Smartphones
Times have changed. Nowadays even the youngest of kids have smartphones such as elementary school students. Why would children want to give up their childhood freedom of playing and go straight to always sitting inside on their phones? How these kids handle a smartphone might just have a different story altogether.Elementary school students should not have smartphones and should stay active instead.
Elementary school students lack the desire to live a healthy lifestyle when given the opportunity to have a smartphone. First off, children today fall short of the sixty minutes of physical activity a day recommended (When). Why? They play inside on their phones instead spending hours and hours playing video games and looking on each other’s social media sites. Nick Triggle, a health correspondent for BBC News, conducted a research and found out that only 38% of elementary students get the recommended physical activity a day (Triggle). This means that 62% are lacking this needed exercise to be healthy. Along with this, different studies done by Phit America, a campaign dedicated in increasing physical activity to improve fitness and health, show that in America alone, 33 million children do not follow the amount of physical activity they need to stay in the healthy target zone. Child obesity has “tripled in the last 30 years” leading to serious health problems as adults (Child). With the digital age increasing by the day it is more likely for these children to be given the access to smartphones.According toMarguerite Reardon, a senior writer at CNET in California, 90% of Americans own a smartphone and a growing number of those are in children (Reardon). Taking away these smartphones would give the chance for kids to play outside in any weather.In addition, Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, stated that, “heavy cellphone use can create mindless eating, much as television does”(Gray). Smartphones alone can significantly change the health habits and lifestyles of people enormously (Inactivity). Children are in the adolescent stages of development, and if proper diet and nutrition are absent then it can affect their growth. In fact, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) located in Illinois, looking at a screen on a smartphone for an extended amount of time has led to 30% increase in childhood obesity (Rohan). Besides, everyone wants to grow up and stay healthy. Elementary school students are in the stages of development and in order for them to grow up nice and healthy they need to be given the proper opportunity. Kids need the chance to be kids and giving them a smartphone is stripping them of that chance.
In spite of all the evidence that supports that children should not have a smartphone many still believe that smartphones can have a positive impact on any child’s early learning development. With this said, there are various websites and apps on smartphones that are solely meant to improve children’s early learning skills; however, a research done at Georgetown University in Washington D.C says elsewise. This research claims that children as young as 24 months up to middle school years did better at the skills introduced to them with human interaction than those who used the smartphone for introduction of the same skills (Guernsey). The AAP also strongly opposes letting children have smartphones in attempt to get parents and teachers to engage more in their learning for best results of development. The Georgetown study and also the University of Virginia study concluded that only 2% of all the supposed “educational” apps available on smartphones are properly suited for children to learn at the best of their ability (Guernsey). It is important for children to learn through engagement and not just by a smartphone placed in front of them.Parents and teachers should not rely on smartphones to teach children what could be better taught by them.
Consequently, giving children the chance to actually act as children has importance. Having a cellphone at such a young age has become a privilege not a right. These children should not have smartphones or worries about their weight.Having all the neighborhood kids come together and play tag regardless of the weather overpowers staying inside playing games on their smartphone. Why would children want to stay inside? Elementary school students should love to play outside instead of laying on the couch pressing buttons on their smartphones. In conclusion, instead of leading children to be couch potatoes by giving them a smartphone; guide them to enjoy the outdoors or read a real paperback book while laying under a tree.
Elementary School and Smartphones