Toddlers Becoming So Addicted To iPads They Require Therapy

From the article:

“Parents who have found themselves unable to wean their children off computer games and mobile phones are paying up to £16,000 for a 28-day “digital detox” programme designed by Dr Graham at the Capio Nightingale clinic in London.”

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Children as young as four are becoming so addicted to smartphones and iPads that they require psychological treatment.


A young schoolboy left his family with a £2000 credit card bill after using an app on his grandfather’s iPad.

Toddlers becoming so addicted to iPads they require therapy (Telegraph, April 21, 2013):

Experts have warned that parents who allow babies and toddlers to access tablet computers for several hours a day are in danger of causing “dangerous” long term effects.

The youngest known patient being treated in the UK is a four-year-old girl from the South East.

Her parents enrolled her for compulsive behaviour therapy after she became increasingly “distressed and inconsolable” when the iPad was taken away from her.

Her use of the device had escalated over the course of a year and she had become addicted to using it up for to four hours a day.

Dr Richard Graham, who launched the UK’s first technology addiction programme three years ago, said he believed there were many more addicts of her age.

“The child’s mother called me and described her symptoms,” he said.

“She told me she had developed an obsession with the device and would ask for it constantly. She was using it three to four hours every day and showed increased agitation if it was removed.”

Dr Graham said that young technology addicts experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics or heroin addicts, when the devices were taken away.

He warned that the condition prevented young people from forming normal social relationships, leaving them drained by the constant interaction.

“Children have access to the internet almost from birth now,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

“They see their parents playing on their mobile devices and they want to play too. It’s difficult, because having a device can also be very useful in terms of having a reward, having a pacifier. But if you don’t get the balance right it can be very dangerous.

“They can’t cope and become addicted, reacting with tantrums and uncontrollable behaviour when they are taken away. Then as they grow older, the problem only gets worse. Even the most shy kids, when they hit their teens, suddenly want to become sociable and popular.”

It is feared that products such as baby-proof iPad covers and iPotties, which feature built-in iPad stands, only fuel the problem.

Parents who have found themselves unable to wean their children off computer games and mobile phones are paying up to £16,000 for a 28-day “digital detox” programme designed by Dr Graham at the Capio Nightingale clinic in London.

Psychiatrists estimate that the number of people who have become digitally dependent has risen by 30 per cent over the past three years.

A survey last week revealed that more than half of parents allowed their babies to play with their phone or tablet device.

One in seven of more than 1,000 parents questioned by website admitted that they let them use the gadgets for four or more hours a day.

James Macfarlane, managing director of the website, said: “Given that babies between 3-12 months are awake for only around 10 hours per day this is a huge proportion of their waking day.

“Although 81 per cent of our users felt that children today spend too much time on smart devices, it hasn’t put most of them off using them to entertain their baby.”

6 thoughts on “Toddlers Becoming So Addicted To iPads They Require Therapy”

  1. In response to the comment above, I remember reading a few years ago in the WSJ (Before Murdoch bought it, and I stopped subscription) that lighted screens on electronic devices cause people to blink half as often as otherwise, not good for the eyes.
    They even have a baby TV channel. It is insane, this virtual reality that has been wrapped around the western world like a cocoon. Problem is that it isn’t real, and should the power sources be broken, it will vanish, leaving millions without access to their virtual realities.
    I am a historian of advanced years. It occurred to me a few years ago that much of the advancement we have made may have happened before, and a break in the system could have caused the ancient civilizations to vanish overnight. When I visited Tikal many years ago, an ancient city that was discovered in the late 19th century almost totally preserved thanks to jungle overgrowth. Even the homes of the average person can be found there. When I looked at the pyramid, the stones were cut with such precision, I could not slip my business card between the bricks…….there was some fine engineering, and it was lost for thousands of years. Why?
    This is the first time in known history when a person can be born, live and die watching while doing nothing of value. It is artificial, and can not last. We rely so much on the power grid……without it, we are totally cut off from much of our worlds. I look at the power grid in this country, it is old, nothing is being done to protect it…….it Is only a matter of time.
    I lived in a coastal rain forest for many years, and a generator was a household appliance due to power outages. I was grateful to have a good one; and it kept me online and up and running while some of my neighbors sat in the dark. We rely a lot on things we have little control over, and that is what concerns me.
    Interesting article. I see 2 year olds playing on the Internet. Glad I raised my child in pre-Internet days……what a nightmare protecting one’s children today.
    The Internet is great, but we have moved into a virtual reality that cannot last.

  2. BS. At 4 yrs of age, a kid cannot read. But his IQ can be nonetheless high. It is another kind of human intelligence that is developing nowadays. If the mother is not content, why has she in the first place provided the kid with that tool? Because she’s too dumb may be to fully appreciate it.
    But the kid is not. He knows what he wants.
    He wants a s*** load of information in order to face the challenges of the world she/he lives in.


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