Tech no tonic for children, doctors fret over addiction (Albert Mollon/Getty Images)
Archana Srivastava, a teacher at a school in Greater Noida, says that her six year old son Shreyash was hooked to mobile tablet and smart phones since he was three years old. “He saw us using the phone all the time. Initially, we allowed him to play on tablet and smartphones, but gradually it became a habit for him,” said Archana.

To discourage him, she tried locking the screen. But it was of little help, as he would incessantly demand for it. It was then that the couple decided to stop using phones in front of him. “For a few months, we didn’t use phones in front of him. He used to take the tablet to play games so we stopped charging it. All this helped reduce his dependence on technology significantly,” said Archana.

While in India, the data on overdependence on technology among pre-teens is scarce, global data suggests even six to ten year olds are hooked to technology that distracts and exposes children to online bullying, among other things. “We have come across many children who are good at solving tough puzzles in online or app-based games. But when they are asked to solve a simple mathematic equation, they find it difficult,” said Dr Pravat Mandal, professor of neuroimaging at National Brain Research Centre.