Express News Service
BENGALURU: When offline classes resumed, 14-year-old Vihaan’s teacher observed that he was getting panic attacks in school. His mother noticed that Vihaan would rush to his phone as soon as he was back home and would even sleep less. This led to more tantrums, sleep deprivation, and Vihaan soon found himself at a child psychiatrist, who told the parents that these are “withdrawal” symptoms.
Doctors are of the opinion that longer screen times during the pandemic has led to such issues. Dr Mahesh Gowda, Psychiatrist, Director of Spandana Healthcare, said, “We have seen a lot of parents coming with these complaints. Because of the pandemic and online classes, most children are using computers, smartphones, tabs etc. So, when they have to go back to school, they get anxious. Schools restrict access to phones for certain ages and this has become a concern for many students.” He added that parents or the school had little control over screen time.
Dr Preethi Galgali, Consultant Paediatrician and Adolescent Health Specialist, said that she is motivating children to go to school and told them that they can return to online classes if they find offlines ones hard. However, Dr Manoj Sharma, who heads the Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at NIMHANS, said, “The scenario has not changed much in terms of numbers. But parents report children are okay with offline classes, but prefer online ones.” He added that not only online classes, they also surf the internet and play online games.