Technology could damage posture in kids, say experts

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (November 4, 2015) - Kids are well into their first semester, and experts warn that technology may have some unintended, negative consequences.

At issue is what’s called ‘tech neck,’ which affects posture. It’s caused by constantly looking down to use smart phones, tablets and computers and could cause a permanent, hunched over look.

Experts say, for every extra one-inch a child's head leans forward, 10 extra pounds of pressure is on their neck and back, causing headaches, even scoliosis, problems usually only seen in adults over age 50.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics found that 97 percent of kids use a mobile device. Often times, by age three, the study found that kids are so accustomed to smart devices that they don’t need help using them.

Experts say the best time to correct potential issues is at a young age.

“I always recommend parents limiting cell phone use, even work on the computer too, being aware of how often their child is on these mobile devices,” said Dr. Chelsey Smiley with Pain Relief Chiropractic. “I even recommend schools and teachers encouraging good posture, especially in the classrooms, maybe taking a break one to two times per class.”

Other simple ideas, doctors say, are raising screens and taking scheduled breaks away from the device.