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Should kids below the age of 5 be allowed to play online games

Should kids below the age of 5 be allowed to play online games

Online multiplayer games are all the rage with kids these days, who often spend hours on PCs and mobile devices playing with friends and strangers. While moderate exposure to video games is not an issue for kids above the age of 5, it can be a problem for those who are younger. Read on to know why kids below the age of 5 should not be allowed to play online games.

Detachment from reality
Kids who are yet to reach the five-year-old mark are still in the process of understanding the physical world. To enhance and further their understanding of the real world, they should be encouraged to interact with objects in their immediate environment, be it indoors or outdoors.
However, when you introduce gaming to them at such an early age, they are very likely to trade real-world interactions for screen time, which is very likely to harm their development.
Relationship issues
At the tender age of 3, 4, or 5, kids start forming solid relationships with their parents, and forming these relationships is a part of their interactions with reality. As soon as gaming comes into the picture, healthy relationships with parents go for a toss.
Physical interactions with parents lead to the release of a hormone known as oxytocin in both the parents’ and the children’s brains. The hormone is responsible for forming deep connections and strong bonds. When interactions are replaced by games, oxytocin won’t be released as much, leading to relationship issues.
Eyesight troubles
Many parents introduce mobile devices to their kids simply because they can’t (or won’t) make enough time to keep the little ones entertained. But when kids spend too much time staring at screens, they run the risk of impairing their vision.
Kids who start gaming at a very early age typically tend to get spectacles early on in their lives as well, which is a disturbing trend. It clearly signals the need to reduce or completely remove video games from a child’s daily routine.
A potential victim of cyber crimes
Online gaming involves playing against strangers; strangers who may be cybercriminals. Kids below the age of 5 are simply too young to understand the risks associated with interacting with strangers online and they may unknowingly become victims.
To make matters worse, younger kids who play online games mostly use their parents’ phones, which cybercriminals may hack to extract personal information such as debit/credit card details, PINs, and passwords.
Instead of handing over phones or laptops to children for gaming purposes, parents should leave no stone unturned to make more time for interacting with their kids. It is only through real-world interactions and explorations that kids can actually develop their physical and mental abilities in tandem.