News Stories

Maybe You Shouldn't Give an Ipod for Christmas

The latest high-tech injury is iPod finger, arepetitive-strain injury from pressing down on the littlemusic player's tiny buttons.

Chiropractor Carl Irwin says, "iPod users are constantlyusing small, difficult buttons with the same finger in arepetitive motion." The nature of modern technology meansthat these devices are only going to get smaller in thefuture. Some iPod users have reported soreness in the hands,and in some cases even problems with moving their elbows and necks. The same types of complaints come from frequentcomputer users (the "tennis elbow" comes from using aseparate mouse). However, the most injuries still come fromtext messaging on cell phones, which have even smaller buttons.

But maybe there's no problem with small buttons if you givean Ipod to a child for Christmas?since he or she also hassmall fingers. Pediatrician Ken Haller says, "That's notnecessarily a bad thing if the gizmo contains content thatis appropriate for a child of that age?Electronic deviceshelp kids with hand-eye coordination." But he cautions that, "If a kid is going to play with video games, they need tospend less time watching TV and being on the Internet.Playing with a video game counts as screen time, and theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day in front of a screen."

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