It’s extremely common for kids these days to be spending more time on electronic devices. However, when your child and electronics become inseparable, that’s not only taking away time from outdoor activities but it can affect their vision as well!
It’s important to be aware of what you’re up against when it comes to electronics. Here’s a guide to understanding how electronic screens affect children’s vision and what you can do to prevent it.
Most kids have access to a variety of electronics these days, from iPads to mobile phones to the TV screen. Electronics can be wonderful, educational tools but long hours staring at the screen on these devices can strain the eyes. It can lead to dry eyes or severe lack of focus which is dramatically on the rise in children, optometrists say.
When children stare at a screen for a long period, they blink less. Blinking helps to clean and lubricate the eyes and when a child isn’t blinking often, their eyes suffer from irritation. Screen brightness also increases from the reflected glare of nearby lamps or windows so the eye has to constantly adjust to light changes. Modern electronics also emit blue light from the LED screen which can damage the retina, a condition that the delicate eyes of children are especially vulnerable to.
What You Can Do
You can be vigilant in preventing the impact of electronic screen harm in your children by encouraging them to care for their eyes. Here are some tips to follow:
Limit Screen Access: Make sure you control the amount of time on electronic devices. For younger children, limit access to iPads, iPhones, etc, for not more than an hour per day. Older children can be allowed two hours but break this into sections throughout the day. Here is how you should limit screen access based on your child’s age:
0-2 years old: No screen time should be had at this age. The exception would be allowing your child to look at the screen during a video call with friends or relatives.
2-5 years old: Only allow one hour per day of screen time.
5-18 years old: Limit recreational screen time to two hours a day. If they need the computer to do homework, ensure they are taking regular breaks from looking at
Maintain Distance: Your child should stay at least 20 inches away from the screen. Children will try and bring the screen closer to their eyes, so make sure they’re sticking to a good distance.
No Gadgets at Certain Hours: Using devices in the dark or directly in the sun is dangerous. The screen’s brightness should not be significantly brighter or darker than the child’s surroundings.
Encourage Outdoor Activities: Playing outdoors and interacting with other kids is so important. Make sure to emphasize the importance of outdoor activities to your child and explain how that’s more fun than hours on an electronic screen.
Sleep Is Important: Children should be getting at least 10 hours of sleep a day to allow the eyes to recover from any strain.
Orangeville Optometric Centre specializes in quality optometric services in Orangeville. It’s important to bring your child in for an eye exam regularly to stay on top of their eyesight. If your child has glasses, we have a variety of great eyeglass frames to choose from or contact lenses!
Give us a call to book an eye test or stop by our office to learn more about our eye care services!