As online games such as Fortnite, Minecraft and FIFA2018, are at an all time high consequently, this has raised possible health risks among children, especially for those who are playing these games on a regular basis.
As each game of Fortnite lasts for 20 minutes increments, and other games such as Minecraft, FIFA2018, and NBA2018 that are more open-ended with no set time limits, here are some useful tips to consider while your children are “gaming”:
● Play the game in a well ventilated room – this means a room with good lighting. Avoid confined spaces and ensure a window is always open or air-conditioning/fan is running to ensure children don’t overheat and maintain good body temperature.
● Regular eating and drinking – especially water to avoid headaches and dehydration. Ensure your child has water with them at all times in a place where it is easy to reach and rehydrate.
● Stop to stretch – give hands, eyes, back and neck a chance to rest and avoid strain. For strained/dry eyes, hydrate with a saline solution. Limit sessions as you see fit, but 20 minutes (as is each Fortnite game) is enough for little eyes at one time. Be strong with time limits.
● A good chair to sit on – keep posture and strain at a minimum. Check out “chair yoga” and encourage your child to do stretches from their chair during breaks. We recommend looking at: https://www.getfitwhereyousit.com.au/
● Set an alarm – to know when it’s time to take a break and so your child isn’t glued to the screen for hours. This also prevents your child becoming addicted; so don’t be fouled into the “one more game” trick.
● RSI first aid treatment – Ensure you use cold packs, elastic supports or even a splint for extreme cases. In this case RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) can be caused from using the wrists and hands during play, bad posture and/or holding the same posture for long periods.
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● Behavioral concerns – by this stage behavioral concerns can also occur from extended gaming such as tantrums when less time is given to playing a game or when your child is interrupted during playing time.
If you’re concerned speak to a therapist who will be able to consult on the best steps forward.
Experts claim gaming addiction is leading to irreversible brain damage
Education coach, Jill Sweatman, described the impact of excessive gaming as dire and long term, leading to what is called “planned brain death”.
“That occurs from the time the child is almost born. It’s already getting rid of brain cells that are not being used,” Sweatman explained.
“What worries me most is that if so much time is devoted to just entertainment, under the auspices, the control of game designers, over a long period of time, what are we really losing?
“And those brain cells can’t be gotten back in later life.”
We recently shared the discussion around parents being blamed for their children’s gaming addiction. Read more here.
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