A new survey has found that children in the UAE are among the youngest in the world to get their first mobile device.
The My First Device report, conducted by software firm Norton by Symantec, found that, on average, children in the UAE are given their first gadget at seven years old.
The UAE also ranked fifth in the world for the amount of time children spend in front of a screen each day with an average of two-and-a-half hours of screen time per child.
Razan Nabulsi, director of training at Dots&Links, an Abu Dhabi-based skills development centre, stressed the negative effects of too much screen time on children’s overall development.
“In a recent study looking at a functional MRI of children’s brains, it was found that watching animated videos [requires] very little brain activity, which means that their brains are not doing any work,” she revealed.
“One of the things that happens when a child watches animated movies for a long time is that their brains become used to a high level of stimulation – lots of colours, sounds and graphics.
“But when they’re exposed to real life experiences, they find it dull and uninteresting, making them inattentive, bored and impatient.
“It’s important that parents become good role models for children by not spending a lot of time on phones ourselves.”