You might think the pediatrics clinic is just the place where you bring your child when they need vaccinations, their annual checkup, or when a bad cough hangs around a little bit longer than you would like. However, did you know that there is more to pediatric care than just the physical health of your child? Mental and emotional health are also important components of your child’s well-being, and your pediatric physician may have some important things to tell you during your next visit to the pediatric office.
For example, you might learn that your kid is spending a little too much time with mobile devices, computers, and the television. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced a policy statement on children and media consumption. Their statement revealed that for children between the ages of eight and 10, on average, eight hours of each day was spent consuming various media. Unfortunately, overindulgence in games, television, and the internet can take a negative toll on the health of a child. This is why you might consider talking to your pediatrician about issues other than what is directly related to a cough, or an allergy. For example, see if you can pick out which of the following issues can occur as a result of too much media:
- Attention issues
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Aggressive behavior
- Antisocial behavior
- Difficulties in school
If you picked all of them, then you are correct. Although media can have a positive effect on a child — it can teach them empathy, interpersonal skills, and tolerance, for example — it can also clearly disrupt normal development. This is not to say that too much time at the computer is the reason for obesity in every child, but it could be a factor. The only way that you might know for sure is if you discuss this matter openly with the team at your pediatrics clinic. If your pediatrics doctors don’t take the first step and ask how much time your child spends with different devices, then bring up the topic yourself, and see what their expertise might contribute.
Not all pediatrics clinics are equipped to address all of the potential problems that a child might suffer. For example, if aggressive behavior is resulting from over-exposure to violent television, then you may need to see a specialist. However, you won’t know unless you get the professional opinion of your pediatrician when you ask them how they believe that your child is doing, in all aspects of their health. Get more here.