Dr. Mallika Marshall:
“The immediate concerns are with the younger [VR] users because they will be prone to use them for much longer periods of time,” explained Dr. Rizzo. Those concerns include what this might mean for a young, developing brains. “You need to understand whether the brain is changing in some permanent way.” There’s also a possible increased risk of becoming near-sighted.
So what’s Dr. Rizzo’s advice to parents? “You should encourage judicious use of these devices. Perhaps with time periods limited to 30 minutes or so.”
The question remains if the research will catch up with the technology. “Well, there’s a lot of research that needs to be done. And it should be done quickly. The devices are available and there is going to be an explosion in their availability and use in the next years. It’s happening.”
Christmass is coming, and this will be a big item on many children’s wish list. It is best to proceed with caution until more research provides much-needed guidance.