:: Editor's Letter
Issue 140 February 2017

Is your child really ill?

I am writing to you from Austria where I am visiting a company that distributes a high tech micro-chip, invented to reduce electromagnetic radiation. Furthermore, they have initiated a partnership programme led by well-kn
own inspirational speaker, Edgar Geffroy, to address the behavioural patterns of electronic use and to assist companies and individuals reduce their exposure to electronic smog – for example: not to charge cell phones next to the bed while sleeping; to switch the WiFi rooter off; and to limit cell phone call time.

Children are often medicated for various conditions without the awareness that some of their symptoms could be directly related to screen time (video games, the Internet, smartphones, iPads…). On average, children interact with electronic devices for five to seven hours a day. This includes the newer teaching tools such as interactive white boards and software used to teach.

The results are a disturbing increase trend in ADHD, autism, ticks and various psychological diagnoses. Also, a reference here would be the rising conditions of obesity and high blood pressure in children – conditions that are not normal for children to have.

There is a correlation between too much screen time and the increased prescription of medication for children with ADHD, autism and ticks. IQ levels have dropped, especially in boys, and developmental issues are on the rise.

Misconception about the dangers of excessive screen time is perpetuated in our society. It’s important to note that total screen time is more important than the content of screen time. And interactive screen time is more problematic than passive screen time (such as watching television). And some children are much more sensitive to screen time than others.

Interactive child psychiatrist Dr Victoria Dunkley says that electronic reading hinders literacy, comprehension and the ability to read. Comprehension is particularly impaired, and taking notes by hand produces better memory retention and exam performance than capturing data by computer.

Children need eye contact and adult face-to-face interaction so it is important to reduce the use of technology in the classroom. Please see our article on #OptOutside 365 days a year on page 50 as well as the article by Dr Les Emdin on page 46 on Chronic Electromagnetic Field Exposure and Cancer Risk.

Everything with a screen acts like a stimulant (such as coffee) and irritates the nervous system. This causes behavioural changes where children are in fight or flight mode with an unregulated nervous system. Screen use repeatedly activates reward pathways in the brain resulting in desensitisation. Dopamine imbalances could be the root of many behavioural challenges caused by excessive screen time. Children are more sensitive to rapid intense sensory stimulation and then there is the blue screen issue we all know about, causing increased stress levels and insomnia due to melatonin levels being suppressed for hours.

Radiation causes stress at cellular and systemic levels. When the brain is stressed and over-stimulated, blood flow and brain chemistry are affected. This results in reduced impulse control, reduced empathy and uncontrollable mood swings. Many children are misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated.

If you are facing a dilemma with a sick child that is over medicated and you suspect it could be due to excessive screen time, Dr Dunkley suggests the restriction of all electronic devices for three to four weeks. This will, she says, reset the nervous system, give the brain a rest and reduce stress, rebalance brain chemistry, and regulate hormones. Clarifying diagnosis now becomes a reality and other treatments (such as body work or psychotherapy) can be optimised and medication minimised.


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