Kids unable to hold pencils due to excessive touchscreen use: Experts

Excessive use of phones and tablets is preventing children's finger muscles from developing sufficiently, making it increasingly hard for them to hold pens and pencils, UK doctors say.

Published: 26th February 2018 12:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2018 12:18 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose

By PTI

LONDON: Excessive use of phones and tablets is preventing children's finger muscles from developing sufficiently, making it increasingly hard for them to hold pens and pencils, UK doctors say.

"Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago," said Sally Payne, the head paediatric therapist at the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust in the UK.

"Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they do not have the fundamental movement skills," said Payne.

"To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers.

Children need lots of opportunities to develop those skills," she said.

"It's easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes," Payne was quoted as saying by the 'Guardian'.

Mellissa Prunty, who runs a research clinic at Brunel University London investigating key skills in childhood, including handwriting, said that increasing numbers of children may be developing handwriting late because of an overuse of technology.

"One problem is that handwriting is very individual in how it develops in each child," said Prunty.

"Without research, the risk is that we make too many assumptions about why a child isn't able to write at the expected age and don't intervene when there is a technology-related cause," she said.

Although the early years' curriculum has handwriting targets for every year, different primary schools focus on handwriting in different ways - with some using tablets alongside pencils, Prunty said.

This becomes a problem when same the children also spend large periods of time on tablets outside the school.

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp