Children showing difficulty holding pencils because of smart devices, warns expert 3 years ago

Children showing difficulty holding pencils because of smart devices, warns expert

Kids' motor skill are being severely affected by the use of technology, a UK expert has said.

Children starting school are increasingly struggling to hold a pencil or pen in class as they haven't developed the motor skills to do so, according to Sally Payne, a paediatric occupational therapist.

"Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago," she told the Guardian.

Children showing difficulty holding pencils over the use of smart devices, warns expert

"Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills."

She explained that children learn these skills through play in the first few years of life but aren't getting the chance to develop the fine muscles in their fingers.

Sally says smart devices are to blame.

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"Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills."

"It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes.

Children showing difficulty holding pencils over the use of smart devices, warns expert

"Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil."

This news comes after a 2017 study at DCU which found that 36 per cent of children aged 11 and 12 had difficulty with motor skills during simple tasks like drawing shapes.