An iPad generation of children and teenagers is suffering adult injuries such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) and neck pain because of the amount of time spent using electronic tablets and iPhones.
Young "tech toy" users are complaining of repetitive strain injuries to thumbs, wrists and elbows; stiff necks; headaches; and sore shoulders, according to medical experts.
Chiropractors Association of Australia (New South Wales) president Dr. Kerein Earney said that children were risking permanent damage from injuries usually associated with adult office workers because of excessive use of tablets, smartphones, controllers and handheld games.
Earney said she saw an eight-year-old patient with an opposite neck curve caused by playing handheld games. She also saw a 15-year-old boy -- who spent the entire school vacation watching TV and playing computer games -- who began experiencing muscle aches and migraines.
"When children play these games or use these tech toys, they are often slouched in a chair, head down, and they're putting a lot of pressure on their head," she said.
She added, "They're like that for quite significant periods of time, and this is what we're finding with a lot of children. I personally have noticed it, and my colleagues are also noticing more children coming in with adult problems like RSI in the wrist and elbow because they play computer games or text each other so much."
Earney continued, "It is a problem because if children are getting these conditions now, it actually starts to make the bones in the neck start to deteriorate a whole lot earlier. It will end up being costly and will lead to long-term health problems."
She said she also was seeing more adults who spend a lot of time playing on their electronic devices.
"I don't think people are realizing the impact of electronic games and electronic media and equipment that they're using," she added.
"My general philosophy is everything in moderation. It's fine to be physical, it's fine to be sedentary -- as long as there is a balance," Papadakis said.