With schools shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most children are now confined to their homes. But many of them are still the victims of the virus, as they are spending maximum time in front of screens these days -- be it mobile phones, laptops, or TV, say experts.
According to the experts, children and their gadgets are inseparable today, and this could be dangerous for their mental and physical health. Add to this: prolonged isolation due to lockdown-related restrictions that are forcing them to stay indoors. And the urban children are the most affected.
"Feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, poor cardiovascular health, lower immunity, depressive symptoms, and impaired executive function,” the American Psychological Association said in a recent study on the mental health of children, in a post-Covid world.
In Bangladesh, the government ordered the closure of all educational institutions on March 17 last year after the country confirmed its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. The closure has been extended several times in the past one year, most recently this month, to protect the students from the virus.
As education boards across the country could not hold exams, all the students were promoted, based on the evaluation of their previous test results.
But parents claim their stay-at-home wards have become addicted to gadgets over the past one year, keeping in touch with their friends on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, studying and playing games on laptops or computers, or connecting with acquaintances on mobile phones -- all at the cost of their health.